Given my increasingly busy schedule, I’ve been finding it very difficult to set aside any time for reading.  As a result, I’ve shifted focus from novels to trade paperbacks which I find equally accomplished, just as enjoyable, yet also offer the added bonus of shorter narratives that don’t require a lengthy commitment. And this got me to thinking.  Present circumstances are ideal for me to do something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time: include the occasional trade paperback in our humble Book of the Month Club discussions.

And so, today, it gives me great pleasure to announce our Book of the Month Club is back, but with a comic book theme.

July’s Book of the Month Club pick is…

SWEETH TOOTH (VOL. 1: Out of the Woods) By Jeff Lemire

A cross between Bambi and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, SWEET TOOTH tells the story of Gus, a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid children, has been raised in isolation following an inexplicable pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Now, with the death of his father he’s left to fend for himself . . . until he meets a hulking drifter named Jepperd who promises to help him. Jepperd and Gus set out on a post-apocalyptic journey into the devastated American landscape to find ‘The Preserve’ a refuge for hybrids. 

This unique and haunting new series is written and illustrated by Eisner-nominated creator Lemire (The Essex County Trilogy) and colored by fellow Eisner nominee Jose Villarubia.

Discussion begins the week of July 4th with author Jeff Lemire!

And while we’re on the topic of comic books…

My editor at Dark Horse, Patrick Thorpe, forwarded me artist Garry Brown’s clothing designs for the characters of my upcoming comic book series, Dark Matter.  Check ’em out:

ONE is our rough-and-tumble hero and, as a result, his clothing should reflect this: cool yet functional.  He’s got to be able to kick ass and shoot ’em up, and look good doing it.

TWO needs something a little sleeker, a little more flexible to suit her fighting style.  Her forte is hand-to-hand combat and her skill and dexterity make her more than a match for anyone on board.  I’d make her boots a little more distinct, maybe make them a little higher and offer protection over the pads.  Also, as I told Patrick: “I want her blade to be less a knife and more of a stiletto.  You know, the kind you use to perforate people’s eardrums.”.

THREE is our resident bad-ass and his clothing should reflect his roughneck persona.  Again, functionality is key for a guy whose most cherished possessions are his wicked sidearms.  The fingerless gloves are a terrific touch, suggesting a desire for the heady tactile experience of squeezing a trigger.

FOUR is our warrior, possessed of dignity, inner-strength, and quiet ruthlessness.  This clothing reflect this nobility of spirit with a nod to the samurai.  Little touches like the more pronounced shoulders and sash give him a more unique and polished style.

FIVE’s spunky personality comes through in her steampunk style: harness, heavy work boots, and oversized gloves.  The goggles – perfect for impromptu riveting jobs – should also come with a night-vision option that allow her to scuttle through the ship’s darker recesses with relative ease.

SIX is our big bruiser with the heart of gold and fists of stone.  We want his clothing to be practical yet comfortable, an outfit that would allow to perform his shipboard duties with ease yet also lift someone over his head and heave them screaming through a plate glass window.

What do you guys think?

BTW – Dark Matter hits the shelves in January of 2012.  Circle the month!

Whew!  What a day!  Worked on my rewrite of episode 3 (formerly episode 2) of Transporter: The Series, digested another round of notes for episode 6 (formerly episode 5), wrote and rewrote the first season episode summary tracking the show’s various character and mythology arcs, signed off on Carl’s one-pager, and discussed Janet Jackson’s affinity for coffee enemas with Alexander.  My work here is done!


tidusspear08 writes: “Can you speak German?”

Answer: English, Fresh, Italian, and Japanese but, alas, no German.  Fortunately, Alex is here to deal with all German inquiries.

majorsal writes: “is brad going to come to the blog and talk ‘stargate: revolution’? or carl?”

Answer: Remains to be seen.  I’ll talk to Carl once he finishes work on his latest script for us.

Lou Zucaro writes: “So are you and/or Akemi spending any time looking for a new place since this one is so chaud?”

Answer: Yep.  Hopefully we’ll find something soon.  Barring that, I suspect we’ll spend the summer sleeping on the balcony.

Alex Crawford writes: “I decided to post here since you would actually ‘read this’ d hopefully respond. I have a solution for SGU. Can you please sent this message through to MGM. I talked to “The Syzgy Network”, a new channel coming in 2012. “

Answer: Unfortunately, the fate of the franchise is out of my hands.  This is a matter that can only be addressed by the studio, MGM.

jojo writes: “Have you found that your language skills have come in handy with the European crew and locations? Will you have to go to europe to oversee filming or will you have your hands full in Toronto?”

Answer: I haven’t had the opportunity to speak much French yet but suspect I will once our stunt coordinators hit Toronto.  And, no, I won’t be heading overseas. I’ll be here in Toronto, either writing/rewriting scripts or prepping and producing episodes.

enectrixx writes: “How come some civilizations (like the Touched in The Broca Divide and the Cimmerians) are so primitive and still have the same culture, behaviour, etc as when they were taken from Tau’ri when they’ve had hundreds or thousands of years to evolve?”

Answer: Could be a multitude of reasons why some civilizations adapt and evolve more rapidly than others.  The use of tools and the adoption of farming practices, for instance, are huge game-changers that would certainly accelerate development.

enectrixx also writes: “Do you have any explanation as to why all the alien cultures (except the Goa’uld and a few others) speak fluent modern english?”

Answer: In my mind, every time a traveller stepped through the gate, they were reassembled on the other side with the benefit of translator nanites that allowed them to not only understand but be understood in turn.  Some languages (like the goa’uld tongue) proved resistant to the technology.

Squishy writes: “Hey Joe, thanks for the updates on Transporter! Just wondering; what language will you guys using for the series? English only? or perhaps some french/german influences?”

Answer: If we’re in Germany or France, we will be hearing some German or French.  It’ll be entirely location dependent.

Dale writes: “The Lucien Alliance seemed to have greater for-knowledge about Destiny and as to what it really was than anyone involved in Stargate Command. I was left with the impression they (SGC) had no idea what on the other end of the 9th chevron address, but L/A seemed to know a lot more and were prepared for what they were to encounter when they arrived. I realize Telford probably fed them some intel, but I have a hard time believing what he could have given them would have been enough (ie the gadget that opens the locked doors). Ginn mentions in “Aftermath” about legends and stories told about it. Were there any plans to expand on what the L/A knew about Destiny and where that information came from?”

Answer: I think much of it is there in the show.  The information they had heard was almost mythic in nature until Telford, acting as their mole, provided them with detailed information regarding Destiny.

Dale also writes: “Were there any plans in future seasons to introduce any ascended Ancients as guest characters that might ‘walk the line’ to help out the Destiny Crew, in a similar way that Oma or Morgan le Fay did in SG-1?”

Answer: There were no immediate plans to do so.  If someone had pitched the idea, I probably would have done my best to kill the story.  I accept the Ancients as an ethereal background element to our story but object to having all-powerful beings intercede in mortal affairs.

Dale also writes: “You mentioned in the past technologies that you felt shouldn’t have been introduced in past Stargates as they hurt the ‘drama’ of the stories (such as beaming tech). Was there much debate about having the “Stones” be present as a plot-device?”

Answer: Yep.  Not everybody in the writers’ room liked the stones.  That said, they did offer a creative opportunity to contact Earth and get off the ship in a manner that wouldn’t blow the budget.

Randomness writes: “Speaking of which, is being in Toronto cutting down on your anime time too Joe?”

Answer: Yes.  I’ve stopped picking up new releases because I simply don’t have time to watch them.  Looking forward to catching up in a big way in 2012.

Randomness also writes: “Transporter does sound like it has a heck of a lot more stuff to organize than the average Stargate season, am I right Joe?”

Answer: Absolutely. When Paul and I joined the production in SG-1’s fourth season, Stargate was a well-oiled machine.  We dealt with the studio that left us alone to do our thing, and one major broadcaster supplying notes (SciFi eventually; we never received notes from Showtime).  Transporter: The Series, on the other hand, is a new show we’re building from the ground up with many more parties involved.

Randomness also writes: “Do you think Brad will produce a new Science Fiction show Joe?  Doesn’t have to be Stargate, but does he have anything planned, or any ideas?”

Answer: Don’t know but I’d love to see him get yet another SF series off the ground.

Ayrton1 writes: “How did you get to the scene “Numa Numa” :D it was really great, have you some interesting story from behind of scene? How did you think it up?”

Answer: Thanks/blame writer-producer Carl Binder for that one.  He was looking for a suitably annoying tune for the otherwise solemn scene and, after much consideration, went with Numa Numa.  The perfect choice.

enectrixx writes: “How come the concept of time is the same on almost all the planets SG-1 and SGA visited? Is it just to make the story easier to tell or do you and the others have any explanation?”

Answer: Whenever possible, we tried to avoid any off-world time references.  In fact, we spoofed this very subject in Wormhole Xtreme with a scene in which the alien princess notes: “It has been many bleems since my people were enslaved by the minions of Lord Varlock”.

enectrixx also writes: “Also, every time they visit a planet in SG, they just scout the immediate area (a few kilometers) around the gate. Does the SGC send other teams afterwards that investigate the whole planet (or a lot of it)?”

Answer: Given the gate’s importance, it would stand to reason that any reasonably advanced race worth pursuing contact with would build their civilization around (or in close proximity to) the stargate.  That said, I’m sure the SGC followed up initial exploration with follow up missions.

33 thoughts on “May 27, 2011: Getting the Book of the Month Club back on track! More Dark Matter Designs! Mailbag!

  1. Thank you very much for the answers! I don’t know how you have the time and patience to respond to our never-ending flow of questions!

    Now that Stargate has ended, your mailbag is one of the few ways to get at least some little pieces of Stargate so I’m already waiting anxiously for the next one!

    While Transporter isn’t really my type of story (at least not after reading the movie synopsis) I’ll still give it a chance; after all if you’re writing it, it can’t be bad 🙂

  2. I like the clothing designs for the Dark Matter characters – especially that everyone has some unique, personal variations on their stuff that fits their character.

    Not sure about the heavy work gloves for character 5 but then you know more about her than we do at this point so maybe they are really perfect for he role in the story; I love the goggles and work boots. She kind of reminds me of my daughter – all she needs is a black tee-shirt under the overall/vest combo.

    I approve of the neo-Samurai style for character 4. He’s the one I’m really looking forward to meeting. Don’t kill him off.

    The others are okay, too.

    Interesting suggestion for BotM. I’ll have to sit this one out, though: June is shaping up to be a busy month for me.

  3. tidusspear08 writes: “Can you speak German?”

    Answer: English, Fresh, Italian, and Japanese but, alas, no German. Fortunately, Alex is here to deal with all German inquiries.

    how does one speak “fresh”? i suppose you would say yo & call people dawg a lot.

    BTW not making fun (the gods know i misspell enough stuff) but the idea of someone speaking “fresh” amused me.

  4. Hi Joe i asked u this before and I get that ur a busy man but could u please answer my question.

    When was the initial concept for SGU conceived because I had written something very similar to it and I was wondering did I read it somewhere and copy u, I wrote it in 2007/8 BTW

    I was going to write what it was about but i don’t think you a (professional) writer would be interested in the scribblings of a 15 year old


  5. I agree with everything Sparrowhawk said, esp. about #4. He’s also the one I’m looking forward to, and you better not kill him off!

    Big day, big week…I’m pooped. It’s 9 pm, Mr. Das just got called out on a lock job, and I think I’m gonna snooze until he comes home. 🙂

    This week I sent off some ‘all ages’ comics I had laying around for a comic relief effort in Joplin, MO – more about it here:

    and here:

    Okay…time for a snooze. 🙂


  6. thank you, joe, for saying you’ll talk to carl about talking ‘stargate: revolution’ for us! 🙂

  7. @but I’d love to see him get yet another SF series off the ground.

    Me too Joe, me too.

    I consider him to be one of the best Science fiction writers around. Now if he does get a Scifi series off the ground, he should hire you and Paul, thus you wouldn’t have to leave Vancouver 😛

    Best of luck with your Comic book and Transporter stuff, eagerly waiting to see both Joe, hope everything goes well.

    The designs are pretty good by the way.

    I like the way you included a large guy with a heart of gold, every series needs a tough guy that shows compassion and stuff to others whilst being fiercely loyal to his comrades, like Ronan or Teal’C or in some ways Greer and Varro.

  8. Hey Joe,

    I stopped watching SGU when 2.5 started (though I’ll probably watch it when it comes out on DVD,) However I did watch the finale, and, despite the fact that it’s over, I think how it ended was perfect. The finale, the last moments on Destiny, meant so much more as a series ender than it ever could have as a season finale. I felt more with the crew this way than I would have if I was expecting the next season.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say congratulations and I’m confident Stargate will make a return someday.

    Excellent work.

  9. archersangel asked:
    (in response to “Answer: English, Fresh, Italian, and Japanese but, alas, no German”)
    >how does one speak “fresh”?

    Fortunately, there’s one person here highly qualified to answer that question:

    Das, the floor is yours.


    – KB

  10. I like the Dark Matter clothing – especially No. 1 and 2. I’m not much into comic books any more – but it looks like I’ll be making an exception for yours.

    Transporter looks like it will be pretty great.

    And thanks for the insight on Stargate Extinction. Atlantis on the moon? Of course, that makes perfect sense since they couldn’t stay in San Francisco Bay. And I could imagine McKay not wanting to go back to Antartica. Look forward to hearing more about what would have been.

  11. Bonjour,

    Ohh vous n’allez pas venir en France =(….pas grave c’est moi qui viendra à Toronto pour vous voir!!!!! ♥

    Bonne journée!

  12. Had my iPad come in. I can now read your blog without going blind! The layout of the blog looks pretty spiffy on this.

    It must be great watching the comic book come to life.

    @sparrow_hawk – Not good about goings on at work. Hope it calms down for you soon. And in a good way.

  13. @ Sparrowhawk – Smartass. 😉

    Sweet Tooth is a quick – and good – read. I think I read it in a half hour, give or take. I can’t put my finger on why I liked it – no long-locked albinos, you see – but I did. I LOVED the narration; the style reminded me very much of Gail Simone’s short story, Thug in Masked. But the story itself pulled me along, too, kept me intrigued and wanting answers to the questions raised in its pages. If you’re not sure you want to ‘own’ the book, why not check out your local library, see if they have – or can get – a copy?

    I’ll be getting the next trade as soon as I can catch up with some other things. STILL haven’t read Fever Dream. I start and stop it about once a week – just SO busy lately! Yesterday, while waiting for Mr. Das to join me at a restaurant, I got to the part where our dear Aloysius found the remains of his devoured wife. 😛 Then I ate baby back ribs. 😀 I have to admit to feeling a bit off as I did so… 😛

    I think I’ll stick to veggies today.

    Also, I really need to read the Elric dreamquest triology before this new comic comes out. I think it involves a character from that series that I am not familiar with yet. I believe it’s Elric living through his dream in the modern day, but not sure. I really need to read it, and to weed out some comics I’m not too thrilled with of late so I have time for the good stuff. I might just switch all my comic book reading over to trades – I do prefer getting the whole story all at once.

    Okay – rambling. I better go. But first, Joe, I am getting excited about Dark Matter! Is the book going to be science-y sci fi, or supernatural sci fi. I’m hoping for the former, because I’m really getting tired of vampires, demons, zombies, and stuff like that. When even the Wolverine books are full of it, you know someone has run out of ideas.

    Okie dokie – gotta feed cats, wake up Mr. Das, and put some clothes on! 😀


  14. great to see the BotM club back. I’m currently knocking out Abercrombie’s The Heroes right now. I’ll swing by the comic store this afternoon or early next week, to pick up your selection.
    January doesn’t seem all that far away, I guess because the older we get the faster the time flies. It will be fun to see the differences between the sketches you’re sharing with the final products.
    Mailbag is appreciated as always. Looking forward to more of the same.

  15. Thanks Joseph for replying, i didn’t actually expect this since you receive alot of messages!

    In response to you reply, can you please forward the e-mail to MGM, i have been trying to contact them for the past fortnight with no luck, it would be really great if you could forward it.

    Attached below is my original message.

    Hello Joseph,
    I decided to post here since you would actually ‘read this’ d hopefully respond. I have a solution for SGU. Can you please sent this message through to MGM. I talked to “The Syzgy Network”, a new channel coming in 2012. Attached below is the response from “The Syzgy Network”.

    Thanks for your letter.

    We would certainly consider a comprehensive deal for Stargate if we were in a position to, but as yet, we haven’t had any luck attracting the kinds of investors it would take to launch a new cable network (potentially as much as $50 million).

    If you’ve had any contact from companies who might be interested in getting this going, we’re all for it. MGM themselves would make ideal partners, not only because of Stargate, but all of the other existing content they could bring to the table. If I could find a way to get them to sit down with us, we’d certainly be amenable.

    Thanks again for your contact!
    Dave Andrews
    CEO and founder, The Syzygy Network

  16. January 2012? Bookmarked indeed, for my birthday in Hawaii and that’s when Burning Man tickets go on sale. Sorry, you’re number three.

    #5? Goggles, sure, ubiquitous. (Hell, I wear goggles at , where else, Burning Man) The heavy gloves? Meh, unless they hold tidy wicked little treasures in secret compartments. Your Number Six should be wearing a hefty Utilikilt. Trust me, google “Burning Man DPW kilt” and you’ll see.

  17. @ sorrykb – Sorry, I’m slipping. I read that word as ‘French’ every time, even in your quoted comment. Obviously my mind is much purer than… saaaaaay… YOURS! 😀


  18. Joe, thanks for the insight for the new series, and as well for the answering of the many Stargate-related questions. If you don’t mind, I’ve got some more:

    – How much of the Anubis-storyline was pre-planned, in particular with the character? When he is first seen on-screen, in the season 5 finale, he only wears a black cloak and shield, in the season 6 finale it’s revealed that’s because he is half-ascended, and in the season 8 finale it’s revealed that Oma Desale helped him ascend, also giving the reason why she is an outcast among the Ancients. It all fitted together extremely nicely – was this because it was all pre-planned, or did you just make it up on the spot?

    – What were the ideas for the unresolved ‘Clava Thessara Infinitas’ arc in SG1? Did it have something to do with Destiny?

    – Were there any plans to continue the Trust-storyline? Also, what (in your mind) happened to Goa’uld!Kinsey?

  19. Das wrote, “Sweet Tooth is a quick – and good – read. I think I read it in a half hour, give or take.”

    Okay, I’m sold. Never read one of these type books before. I’ll give it a shot. But if I hate it, I might not want to read your’s Joe. 🙂 Kinda costly to be a short story…but, like I say, I’m new at this.

  20. Hello Joe,

    I have a SG-1 question :

    The people who made the Ascension (like Lanteans, or Abydonians) are called “The Ancients” or “The Others” ?

    Thanks for your reply.

  21. I learnt a new word: h’self. Example sentence: “A new recruit must dedicate h’self to the directives and whims of our loving leader.” Feel free to use it for your own purposes. You’re welcome.

  22. Because of my incredible need for closure of the Stargate Atlantis story, I would single-handedly novelize the movie. I do have one question, though. I don’t know if you know, but how many copies did most of the published fanfiction novels sell?

  23. Haha, I wasn’t aware ‘better’ was now a synonym for ‘tighter’. Seriously, the only adult female of the group is also the only one with tight pants and a midriff-revealing top? Cliche much?

  24. @Alex Crawford
    @(potentially as much as $50 million).

    I would say it would cost a lot more than 50 million US to launch a decent channel, as you would need to buy the content your viewers want to watch, basically they would have to invest a lot of money to make money from advertisers.

    Personally I think thats a dead end for SGU, which won’t come to anything.

    Basically I think any new Stargate content as and when it comes would come from an MGM + Syfy partnership, Syfy still want Stargate, just with the viewers SGU was getting live, they wern’t making any money from it, they haven’t completely closed the door on Stargate.

  25. Yet _another_ question (honestly, do you have superhuman patience to answer them all?)

    The humans in the Mily Way and Pegasus look like the Ancients because we were essencially created by them (or seeded), but we know that the Asgaard and the Nox were almost as advanced as the Ancients even during the time the Ancients existed. So why do the Nox and the initial (not cloned) form of the Asgaard look like humans? Did the Ancients create them too?

  26. Actually, until Shawn B. mentioned it, I hadn’t noticed the bare midriff on #2. Personally, if I was engaging in close combat, I would want some body armor between me and the other guy’s stiletto. Maybe an attractive lightweight see-through chainmail style mesh?

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