General

NY Comic-Con 2011: Nugget Man, Batchicks and Chicken Fett

The NY Comic-Con was its usual array of spectacle and madness. I was there for the Friday showing, and despite the pure overwhelm of the event, I found it to be much better organized than in years past and easier to navigate.

As always, I was there to promote Finders Keepers and see the gang. I hung out with partners in crime (and Zoomies creator) Rich Henn and Crossline editor James Chambers, and stopped by the booth of Terry Moore, who signed his latest paperback editions of Echo for me.

The big attractions I saw were a Q&A about the new Avengers movie, and a long line for the Walking Dead comic, tied into the AMC show.

Also where I was there, here are a few fans I picked up along the way:

Holy Batchicks, Batman. This is what crime fighting is all about:

Abracadabra. This magical beauty was all about Finders Keepers:

Only at Comic-Con can you say that Chicken Nugget Dude has joined the fray:

And of course, what would a Comic-Con be without Chicken Fett?

Physically, NY Comic-Con is tough, between the constant blaring of noise, navigating almost 100,000 people, not to mention those convention floors are unforgiving! Maybe I’m just showing my age, but my back is still aching. Invest in some padding carpets! Yikes.

Still, NY Comic-Con was a good show for me, where a good time was had by all. In fact, by night’s end a bunch of us made it up to Heidelberg on 85th Street and 2nd Avenue for some beer and Bratwurst.

And for those of you who missed out last year, here’s a link to my video interview for the debut of Finders Keepers:

https://russcolchamiro.com/interviews/

Russ

Russ’ Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 9 – NY Comic-Con + My Star Trek Connection

Hi Gang-

Hard to believe we’ve got Halloween in our sights, but with the ghoulish holiday coming up, here’s some scary good updates in my adventures in publishing:

* This weekend is the NY Comic-Con. I won’t be taking a table this year, but I’ll be there snapping photos, meeting fans, agents, producers and fellow creators, and of course, knocking back a few cold ones with the guys. I’ll be sure to report back on all the news that’s fit to print.

* OK. It’s major milestone time. Just yesterday I handed off Crossline to my editor, none other than horror, fantasy and suspense writer James Chambers (http://www.jameschambersonline.com/blog/). For those of you unfamiliar with Jim, he’s a writing workhorse, pumping out short stories and novellas seemingly every other day. He’s also one heck of an editor. In fact, in his former life, he once worked as a comic book editor, dealing directly with Spock himself, Leonard Nemoy. Jim also gave me some critical feedback on Finders Keepers, so I know Crossline is in good hands.

Jim should be getting back to me by around mid-December with his feedback, and then I’ll get to work on my latest round of edits.

* In the mean time … I start my prep for the first of two Finders Keepers sequels. I already have the main story mapped out — with a killer ending — and I’ve got notes and such to go through. But for the next two months I’ll be doing a lot of research and reading to make sure that I’ve got the right mojo going when I put on the full court writing press on the sequel in 2012.

* And speaking of Finders Keepers, I’m now in the planning stages for my next round of conventions. The way things are shaping up so far, I’m likely to be doing signings at PhilCon in November, and then Luna-Con and I-Con in the spring of 2012. I’m also looking to add a few more shows to my itinerary, but for now, I’ve got my hands full.

* For those who have been asking, indeed, Finders Keepers is available as an e-book, including through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as places like ebooks.com and many others. You can find it anywhere e-books are sold, and will work with any e-reader.

* And for this edition’s shout out, click below to read a very cool profile about my good buddy Michael Wolfe, a writer/actor/director/producer, whose debut film Maybe Tomorrow is in post-production:

(http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/2011/10/10/2011-10-10_rego_park_bartender_michael_wolfe_submits_his_film_maybe_tomorrow_to_sundance_fi.html).

Maybe Tomorrow is a character-driven study on the effects of a crime amongst friends that comes back to haunt them later in life. Michael asked for my input on the script, and I can tell you that you’ll be in for an intense 90 minutes or so of movie time when it comes out.

That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back next month with NY Comic-Con updates plus a few new surprises up my sleeve to share. Until then …

All the Best,

Russ

 

Subway Stories: The Pick and Wipe

OK, so … I’m on the subway heading to work. It’s about 7:30 a.m., and I’m reading the newspaper, just minding my own business. We make a stop, the doors open, which draws my attention.

In the corner there, is a guy, sitting by himself. He’s maybe 25 or so, in jeans a t-shirt and sandals.

And he’s digging.

Yep, he’s a picker.

I’m not saying he should be up to his elbow in a public place, but to quote Seinfeld:

“An’ what if I did do it? Even though I admit to nothing, and never will. What does that make me? And I’m not here just defending myself but all those pickers out there who’ve been caught. Each an’ every one of them, who has to suffer the shame and humiliation …”

Yet my judgment of Mr. Pick isn’t that he did the picking, per se. It’s what he did after the pick.

I don’t know if on that finger he had a nugget, some goo or just general crusties. But I do know that he reached over by his leg, and, presumably thinking he was being sly, wiped his whole hand over the plank next to his seat.

I mean he just smeared it all over.

And then he did it again!

To quote George Costanza in that same episode:

“I guarantee you that Moses was a picker. You wander through the desert for forty years with that dry air. … You telling me you’re not going to have occasion to clean house a little bit.”

The picking, while nasty, is, I suppose, forgivable.

But the wipe?

Hell no.

I just hope the MTA calls in a HAZMAT team to hose down that subway car before anyone else gets back on it.

Russ’ Newsletter: Vol. 5, No. 8 – New Web Site Launch + E-book!

Hey Gang-

Now that we’ve survived tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes, I hope you had a festive end to the summer with a joyous Labor Day celebration. As for me, Abby is practically climbing the walls and Nate is venturing out with his first steps, so we’ve got quite the jungle gym going on at our place.

On the writing front, there’s loads of updates to share, so here we go …

* With a new wave of awesomeness in the works, it was time to deliver a new Web site to match. So thanks to the Web stylings of Mike Rende at SiteByMike, welcome to my brand, spanking new web site!

www.russcolchamiro.com

You’ll see that it’s neatly organized, easy to navigate and loaded with all the bells and whistles you’d want, including new reviews of the latest X-Men movie, the new Planet of the Apes and my take on Season 1 of The Good Wife, among others.

Plus ….. you can now buy Finders Keepers directly through my site! So if you want a personalized, signed copy, it’s just one stop and you’re done!

I’ll be making some minor tweaks along the way, but feedback on the new site welcomed and appreciated. 🙂

* Speaking of new stuff … the Finders Keepers e-book is finally out! With the distribution contract I signed it took a little doing to get new files created, but alas … look no more. No matter what device you use, whether Nook, Kindle or Ouija Board, you can order your e-copy of Finders Keepers through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and other outlets that will be popping up before too long.

* Believe or not, I’ve already got 2012 on the brain! The end of 2011 and leading into next spring brings an entirely new wave of conventions where I’ll be signing Finders Keepers, so I’m now in the planning stages for my next round of appearances. Check back soon and I’ll have more to share there about that.

* Also on the promotion front, I’m participating in some new Q&As about my crazy trip in the world of book publishing, so I’ll be sharing those as soon as they pop up.

* And now that we’re moving into the cooling air I’m putting the finishing touches on Crossline before I pass it along to my editor extraordinaire, so I’ll be making the hand-off by the end of the month. After that, I’ll finalize the manuscript, get that ready for publication, and then move onto book No. 3.

That’s all she wrote for this edition. Stay tuned for regular updates, be sure to check out my new Web site, and who knows? I may just have another awesome announcement to make before too long …

All the Best!

Russ

 

Russ’ Newsletter​: Vol. 5, No. 7 – The Alaskan Connection + Happy Birthday Nate and Abby

Hey Gang-

Don’t know about you but it’s been a scorcher of a summer on my end. I’ve been full-stop for the past few months on multiple fronts, and to put an amazing cap on the past year, my bundles of joy Nate and Abby celebrate their first birthday next week. It’s been truly amazing to watch and experience. And if the next few … decades are anything like this last year, I cannot wait to see what’s next. Liz and I are truly blessed, and on top of everything else, those kids crack me up! They are freakin’ hilarious.

And with Abby just starting to walk and Nate starting to discover his inner Bart Simpson-like instinct for causing mayhem, here’s what else I’ve been up to:

* I’ve been having some fun these past weeks now that Finders Keepers is officially on the shelves of Barnes & Noble! It’s in five NYC locations and a bunch in Seattle, plus Anchorage, Alaska (and others around the country … including Rockville, MD). I’ve dropped by some of the NYC locations to sign them, so if you happen upon them there, you’ll get an autographed copy. For a full list of Barnes & Noble locations nationwide where you can find Finders Keepers, see below.

* July wrapped up my summer book signing schedule, where I made stops at the Long Island Toy Show and the East Hanover Comic Book Expo. Not my best shows sales-wise, as they were not quite the right venues for me, but I continued to get the word out and make some new friends. I’ll be taking a convention break, but will be back later in the year. And though I sat out the San Diego Comic-Con this year, I’m hoping to make my return in 2012. Stay tuned.

* Keeping the momentum moving forward, I will be unveiling my new Web site some time this month!

Because of the various projects I’m involved with and the multi-tiered marketing programs in the works, it was time to revamp the site and give you guys a snazzier, cleaner destination where I can upload new blog posts and photos, make all sorts of announcements and otherwise make myself available to those Hollywood folks who absolutely MUST have my book for themselves and get that movie in motion! Look for a launch notice any week now.

* Speaking of Hollywood, I’ve got a pretty intense marketing program in the works — with some pretty awesome participants — and now that I’ve consulted some filmmakers, the project itself has grown in scope. Hate to be secretive here, but until I’ve got all the elements locked down I’m going to play this one a little bit close. But trust me. It’s in motion. And it’s very cool.

* And lest you think I forgot to mention, my second novel Crossline is still speeding along. I’m in the final revisions now, and then I turn the manuscript over to a top-notch editor I know who gave me critical feedback on Finders Keepers that helped make it the success it is today. So I think I’ve got the right guy to also help me get Crossline to where it needs to be.

That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back around Labor Day for a final summer announcement, where I’ll be sharing the latest news on Finders Keepers and report back on Nate and Abby’s first birthday party, which should be awesomeness supreme.

All the Best!

Russ

 

Finders Keepers in Barnes & Noble:

#2988 – Fox Run Crossings, 45 Gosling Rd, Portsmouth, NH

#2791 – 235 Daniel Webster Hwy,Nashua,NH

#2966 – 98 Middlesex Pkwy,Burlington,MA

#2957 – 60 Pine St., Pacific  Place, DowntownSeattle,WA

#2965 – 106 Court Street,Brooklyn,NY

#2784 – 200 East Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK

#2876 – 267 7th Avenue, Park Slope,Brooklyn,NY

#2942 – Hacienda Crossings, 4972 Dublin Blvd, Dublin, CA

#2575 – 1201 3rd St Promenade,Santa Monica,CA

#2281 – Kitsap Mall, 10315 Silverdale Way, Silverdale, WA

#2280 – Northgate Mall, 401 NE Northgate Way, Seattle, WA

#1979 – 82nd and Broadway, NY,NY

#2278 – 86th & Lexington, NY, NY

#2262 – Clackamass Town Center Mall,Portland, OR

#2536 – Arboretum, 10,000 Research Blvd., Austin Texas

#2703 – Spectrum Center,1851 Fountain Dr.,Reston,VA

#2573 – University Village,2675 NE University Village St.,Seattle,  WA

#2675 – Union Square – NY, NY

#2234 – 555 Fifth Avenune, NY,NY

#2764 – 12089 Rockville Pike, Montrose Crossing, Rockville,MD

#2238 – Tysons Corner Mall,McLean,VA

#2275 – 131 Colonie Centre, Albany,NY

Russ’ Newsletter​, Vol. 5, No. 6 — Barnes & Noble, July 4th Sale + Convention Schedule

Hey Gang-

I hope everybody had a great July 4th weekend. Besides their first Independence Day, so far this summer Liz and I also took Nate and Abby on their very first family vacation to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, where we all soaked up some pool time and stared out at the ocean as the sun set. Plus, Liz and I had our very first weekend away together — without the babies — notching up some beach and restaurant time at Spring Lake, NJ, while my in-laws had a wonderful weekend babysitting their grandkids. They very seriously thought about not giving Nate and Abby back, but exhaustion changed their minds!

And on that note, I’ve got a slew of summer fun to share about Finders Keepers:

* A few months back I announced that Small Press United signed me to a deal to distribute Finders Keepers to booksellers across the country. Well, we’re starting to see some momentum! It’s still early in the process, but to date, Barnes & Noble has ordered more than 50 copies of Finders Keepers, to be sold in various locations! Not sure yet which particular stores will be carrying it, but it sure is a good feeling to know that at long last Finders Keepers will be on the shelves. I will update as I know more.

* Speaking of being on the shelves, I am extending the Finders Keepers summer sale throughout the month! To order you signed copy of Finders Keepers for the freakin’ sweet summer sale price of just $10, visit:
http://www.richkoslowski.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=233.

Plus FREE shipping in the U.S!

* But wait. You say you want to see me in person at a convention this summer. Well … you’re in luck! Throughout July you have not one, but two chances to stop by my booth where I’ll be selling and autographing copies of Finders Keepers. Here’s where you can find me:

Long IslandToy Show,
Holiday Inn Hotel, 215 Sunnyside Blvd, Plainview, NY
– July 17

East Hanover Comic Book Expo, Ramada Inn Conference Center
Hotel, Ramada Inn Conference Center Hotel, 130 Rt 10 West, East Hanover, NJ
– July 23

* In addition, the latest round of reviews are in. Check out this one from Ruled by Books, who said: “[Finders Keepers is] incredibly funny. … When [Colchamiro] becomes a best seller, you’ll be able to say you knew him when.” For the full review, click here: http://bit.ly/kDJRci

* And for this month’s shout-out, if you haven’t already, check out the collective works of Rich Henn (Zoomies, Timespell, www.timespell.com), Finders Keepers publisher and cover artist Rich Koslowski (BB Wolf and the 3 LPs, The King, The List, 3 Geeks, www.richkoslowski.com) and JD Arnold (BB Wolf and the 3 LPs, http://www.bbwolfandthethreelps.com/), will all be attending this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. They are all excellent creators and big Finders Keepers supporters, so even though I won’t be there for the usual summer mayhem, join me with them in spirit.

That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back later in the summer with new updates, plus some BIG, BIG plans I’ve got in the works.

All the Best,

Russ

 

Russ’ Review: The Good Wife, Season 1

My initial reaction to The Good Wife, before even having seen it was, meh. Not interested. But then I kept hearing how great it was, so I gave it a shot. Having watched all of Season 1, I can say that the quality of the shows is somewhere in the middle.

What Works: The chemistry between the characters is generally good, and the actors all do pretty well with their roles. There’s good tension between the characters and as the season progressed the relationships started to develop. There’s also good, inherent drama with the premise. Julianna Marguiles is Alicia Florek, the spurned wife of Chris Noth’s ridiculed former State’s Attorney, who had an illicit affair and went to jail for alleged crooked dealings. Now she’s a lawyer trying to make a career for herself—despite her husband’s name—but keeps running into those who either judge her for it, or want her to use the political influence she wants to deny she actually has. Plus there’s a potential love triangle here, so lot’s of pulpy drama.

What Doesn’t: Man oh man the plots be dumb as a post. My biggest problem with The Good Wife is that it isn’t really sure what kind of show it wants to be. A pulpy political/office workplace love drama, or a case-of-the-week lawyer show. Problem is, the cases are very silly and often implausible. There are too many examples to list here, but for one, how about the episode where the building managers in the Floreks’ building just happen to be diamond smugglers? Naturally.

Or the one where an injured plaintiff’s wife just happens to have access to a jury pool, so she can screen for someone who’d be open to a bribe … and then has the mojo to arrange back alley payments to throw the case? Wow. She’s good.

Or that the Florek’s 15-year-old son can detect uneven light patterns reflected back in his dad’s eye in a photograph to prove a steamy, drug-fueled photo was a fake—but all law enforcement missed it. Uh. Yeah. I can go on and on. And why does every case need to be wrapped up each week? Lazy plotting.

Final Thoughts: Despite the show’s inherent flaws, it’s still enough of a fast-paced, love-triangle/political chess match to keep me interested. Good characters with juicy entanglements overcome the silly and often implausible storylines, although there are many times when I cringe at the ridiculous plotting. I will say that the second half of the season was much better than the first, so I’m hoping this bodes well for future seasons. As for the first run, fun trumps logic. But just barely.

Season 1 Score: 6 Stars out of 10

Finders Keepers at Barnes & Noble

If you are looking to pick up a copy of Finders Keepers, you can always order it through this very site, and I’ll sign your copy!

And if you want the whole book store experience, you can find a copy of Finders Keepers at Barnes & Noble throughout the country. Here’s a complete list:

#2988 – Fox Run Crossings, 45 Gosling Rd, Portsmouth, NH

#2791 – 235 Daniel Webster Hwy, Nashua, NH

#2966 – 98 Middlesex Pkwy, Burlington, MA

#2957 – 60 Pine St., Pacific Place, Downtown Seattle, WA

#2965 – 106 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY

#2784 – 200 East Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK

#2876 – 267 7th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

#2942 – Hacienda Crossings, 4972 Dublin Blvd, Dublin, CA

#2575 – 1201 3rd St Promenade, Santa Monica, CA

#2281 – Kitsap Mall, 10315 Silverdale Way, Silverdale, WA

#2280 – Northgate Mall, 401 NE Northgate Way, Seattle, WA

#1979 – 82nd and Broadway, NY, NY

#2278 – 86th & Lexington, NY, NY

#2262 – Clackamass Town Center Mall, Portland, OR

#2536 – Arboretum, 10,000 Research Blvd., Austin Texas

#2703 – Spectrum Center, 1851 Fountain Dr., Reston, VA

#2573 – University Village, 2675 NE University Village St., Seattle, WA

#2675 – Union Square – NY, NY

#2234 – 555 Fifth Avenune, NY, NY

#2764 – 12089 Rockville Pike, Montrose Crossing, Rockville, MD

#2238 – Tysons Corner Mall, McLean, VA

#2275 – 131 Colonie Centre, Albany, NY

Russ’ Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Based on the trailers alone, I was not at all excited to see the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Man, I love being wrong! We have a winner!

What Works: Disregard the trailers. This is not a full blown apes vs. man action movie. This is a mostly character-driven story that centers around Caesar, the Ape that ultimately went from rescued orphan to leader of the Apes. There is a strong emotional center, with a two-pronged approach. Caesar and his maturity/development into “adult,” as he is first raised by, and then rebels against, his scientist/adopted father, played capably by James Franco.

The second is his realization that he — and his fellow apes — have been forced into being “pets,” rather than a “free” tribe allowed to follow their own destiny. I will not give any spoilers here, but Andy Serkis, who provides the motion capture performance for Caesar, gives the character — and the movie — its true heart.

‘Rise’ also takes its time to develop. For us to believe — or suspend disbelief — that these Apes could ultimately secure their freedom with human-level intelligence (and perhaps even greater than that), we need to follow the journey, which has more setbacks than success. We get that. There are a few gaps in logic here, but it is a journey that’s well worth the ride.

What Doesn’t Work: As good as the motion capture was at times, the Apes looked a bit too computer generated at others, which was a slight distraction. Also, the secondary characters, for the most part, were just caricatures, rather than full blown individuals. The “evil tormentors” and corporate baddie were too generic, and some very good actors were mostly wasted.

If I had any frustration with ‘Rise,” is that as much as I enjoyed it, this could have been a classic, and it doesn’t quite get there. With a little more time on the script to flesh out the additional story threads, this version could have risen to the level of greatness.

Final Thoughts: One of the better popcorn sci-fi action movies I’ve seen in quite a while, ‘Rise’ re-instates the ‘Apes’ franchise with a winning formula, with a central figure you can really care about. And while it didn’t reach its full potential, missing out on some opportunities for greatness, I’ll gladly come back for more.

My Score: 7.5 Stars out of 10

Russ’ Review: X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First ClassX-Men: First Class is another thumbs up chapter in the comic-book movie franchise. The first 30 minutes are rousing, and after two plus hours we get the chance to discover how two incredibly powerful minds end up on very different ends of the same spectrum.
What Worked: ‘Class’ is a pure origin story where we follow a young Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr into their evolution to Professor X and Magneto, respectively. The challenge was two-fold: first, take enough time to demonstrate how young men with super-human abilities develop not just their powers, but a code that will define how they view their place in the world–and do so such that we are invested in their evolution. Given the decades of stories we already know about them, this was no small task. And the movie delivers. Big time. Second, was finding two actors who could match the gravitas of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan. Once again, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively, rise to the occassion. This movie would have failed had they not been as terrific as they were.
What Didn’t: ‘Class’ was a bit long, dragging in places. And the secondary and tertiary characters fell pretty flat. They didn’t necessarily have to shine, but I found them to be almost too silly for the larger story going on around them. I would have liked to have seen a bit more mojo there. In addition, Kevin Bacon’s villain starts out strong, but is surprisingly absent for most of the third act, which I found a bit disappointing, given his role in the larger story.
Final Thoughts: While not quite as entertaining start to finish as the first two X-Men movies, ‘Class’ more than holds its own, and delivered an origin story that could have easily been a waste of everyone’s time. A worthy effort.
My Score: 7 out of 10 Stars

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