“They’re not my taste.  The eyes are too small and don’t contain very much gelatin.” – Akemi on why brill fish eyeballs are inferior to snapper eyeballs.

A productive writing day!  I hit the 38 page mark of my creepy horror script.  I’m figuring the first draft should come in at a little over 90 pages so I’m aiming to have it 2/3 completed before I head for Tokyo later next week.  I’ll finish it up when I get back, get notes from Paul and Ivon, have a revised draft out before the end of March which will be perfect timing for Ivon to start thinking about that two minute trailer for the film-to-be.  I promise to upload it here as soon as it’s done after which we’ll no doubt be making the rounds in L.A.  And then, it’ll be smooooooooooooth sailing!

So, some of you have weighed in with some comments and questions on the first issue of Dark Matter, our exciting new SF comic book series. I’ve answered in today’s mailbag and invite anyone other readers out there to post their thoughts on Dark Matter #1.  Pictured above, the Garry Brown/Ryan Hill cover to Dark Matter’s second issue that comes out February 8th (coincidentally, on the day I’m scheduled to fly back from Tokyo).  So, what’s in store for our intrepid crew (and you, dear readers)?  Well, I’m glad you asked…

On the run, with no memory of who they are or where they are going, and being pursued by an unknown enemy, the crew unearths a clue buried deep within the ship’s database. Their search for answers leads them to a remote world, an alien threat, and, ultimately, the startling truth about their past!

I know, I know.  After so many questions in issue #1, finally some answers!

Oh, and some sneak peeks at what lies in store:

And, oh yeah – at some point, I’d like to have artist Garry Brown swing by this blog to field some of your questions.  That’s whenever, of course, his busy schedule allows.  Garry’s done some great work on the series, I’m sure you’ll agree, and I wanted to give you all a peek at the evolution of some of his work – specifically, the transformation of his fantastic inks to awesome colors once colorist Ryan Hill has worked his magic, then taken to the next level with addition of letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft.

Pretty cool, no?

Hey!  DarkHorse is holding a twitter contest!  Head on over for a chance to win a digital copy of Dark Matter #1: http://www.darkhorse.com/Press-Releases/1855/Dark-Horse-Twitter-Contest-Round-76-1-20-2012.  Thanks to Sylvia for tipping me off!


Major D. Davis writes: “Also, cool piece of news. I just got accepted into the University of Southern California Cinematic Arts Summer Program….”

Answer: Welcome back to the blog and congratulations, Adam!  One day, I’ll be able to say: “I knew him when…”  Good luck in California.   Keep us posted on your progress.

JeffW writes: “Have you ever tried or wanted to make your own pizza?”

Answer: Yes and the results were just short of disastrous.  My pizza was so piled high with toppings that the dough didn’t fully cook through.  Nevertheless, I did manage to scorch the hell out of the pizza stone.  Thanks for the recipe though!

Cherluvya writes: “Actually…it is really my six children and nine grandchildren that make my world go round.”

Answer: Wow!  What an accomplishment.  I’m still waiting for my kids to make me a grandfather but Lulu is more interested in playing catch while Bubba is more interested in, well, humping Maximus.

Line Noise writes: “Technically something I’ll be doing in the future but it’s still pretty awesome: I’m going to the recording of an episode of Red Dwarf next Friday.”

Answer: Wait.  They’re producing new episodes?

Joe writes: “Joe, don’t you like olives?”

Answer: Depends on the olives.  I like those mild butter olives.  Not a fan of sour at all.

Peeter writes: ” I will be visting your fair city next week for meetings at work. My hotel is in Gastown. Any good restaurants in the area?”

Answer: Yep. Cobre Restaurant – Cobre | Latin fusion | latin restaurant and tequila …Boneta – Loves YouL’Abattoir : Gastown : Vancouver

Dave Clark writes: “I enjoyed Dark Matter, but I thought the incident with the security robot wrapped up a little too quickly. It would have been nice to have a running game of cat-and-mouse with him which lasted a while, but hey, it’s only four issues so I guess time isn’t a luxury. I hope this can be made into a series, it looks good so far.”

Answer: Thanks, Dave.  Yes, the 22 page narrative structure can be a little constrictive at times – but, on the bright side, allows for some very tightly-paced storytelling.  I elected to limit the security robot encounter to the hangar so I could concentrate more on introducing the characters and the various shipboard mysteries.  Next issue (#2 hits the stands February 8th!) kicks off with a ship to ship pursuit and ends with a shocking revelation that sends the series off in a new direction.  I look forward to reading your thoughts when I get back to from Tokyo.

JimFromJersey writes: “I may go wheeling in the Pine Barrens tomorrow with my Jeep club! ”

Answer: Have fun!  And good luck!  Don’t end up like Paulie Walnuts and Christopher in the Pine Barrens episode of The Sopranos.

Lori writes: “I’m sure you’ve tried everything at this point to entice Maximus’s appetite, but just in case you haven’t tried warm honey water, I found that very effective with one of our dogs who wasn’t responding to antibiotics after a tooth infection.”

Answer: Thanks for the tip.  Tried it today and, while he didn’t seem to like it, he didn’t spit up quite as much.

SiSi writes: “Joe, I mentioned you and your blog in my own blog today. I wrote about SF/F books I liked in 2011…”

Answer: I have to get around to reading Robopocalypse.

Tam Dixon writes: “Your new comic seems to be in short supply? Is that a good thing from your perspective?”

Answer: Hard to say.  It could be selling well – or it could simply be a case of comic stores not ordering many copies.  Hmmmm.

TeesterX writes: “American Horror Story is great, but extremely disturbing, though in an entertaining way. It gets crazier with each episode!”

Answer: I just got to the mutant-brother-in-the-attic episode.  I have to ask if there’s a horror movie convention they don’t use?

Michelle writes: “Hey Joe, looks your old job on Transporter is open again. Serious Help Wanted! What advice would you give to potential job seekers? ;) http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cinemaxs-cursed-transporter-series-shoot-283533

Answer: Hunh.  Clearly, I’m not the guy to ask.

Bilo&Bella writes: “Got married while in Maui to a wonderful man.”

Answer: Congratulations.  Did you bring me back something?  Some chocolate-covered macadamia nuts?

dasndanger writes: “Read #1 and loved it! Kudos to you and Paul! Only problem is that I wish it was longer…wish the bit with the android guy (whitey…heh  ) took up the entire book. And samurai boy…oh, my…what a pretty fella! Yeah, I like that one a lot.”

Answer: Well, as issue #1 would suggest, Whitey will be sticking around for the time being – especially since he’s the one who seemingly knows most of the ins and outs of operating the ship.  As for samurai boy – congrats on recognizing the fact that he IS a boy.  A couple of reviewers assumed he was a she.  Granted, he is pretty, but that will be clarified in issue #2.  Along with the deal on that weird kid!  P.S. I had a feeling you’d like the guy with the swords (aka FOUR).

dasndanger also writes: “And now I have a lot of questions. I’ll ask just one – why only 4 issues? Was that what Dark Horse wanted, or was that your call? I’m asking because already I can see how this could easily have covered 6 issues. Of course, maybe I’m just being greedy. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a good sci fi anything, and I’m already sad that there’s only 3 issues left.”

Answer: The limited four-issue run was Dark Horse’s call.  The point, after all, was to use this opening arc as a springboard to a television series.  Having said that, I’d be more than happy to continue the series in comic book form.


23 thoughts on “January 20, 2012: Dark Matter goodies! Mailbag!

  1. Wow! You sure are busy, and it’s nice to have the Feb. 8 date down for the next issue of Dark Matter. Writing it on my calendar now. Oh, and does anyone have any advice? 15 yo ds is taking showers twice a day now. We think he likes a girl. I guess time will tell. 🙂

    Have a great night!!

  2. Heck, I knew Number Four was a boy! But maybe that’s ’cause I’m used to Japanese pretty boys in anime.

    He’s been my favorite since you previewed the character designs here on the blog. I’m still trying to work out the source of your inspiration for the character. But I know you’ll tell us more about that later.

    And I’m looking forward to finding out about the cube he pulled out of the stasis pod core thingie and is looking at so intently in that picture (see above).

    Thanks again for a great read. I’m looking forward to the next issue.

  3. Joe I cant tell how jelous of you I am I’ve always wanted to visit Japan especially Tokyo what a beautiful place looking forward to the pics. PS can you pick up a Blu-Ray copy of the live action space battleship yomato for me very hard to get here in the states have a fun and safe trip.

  4. Hey Joe,

    OMG…could your pups produce a litter? That would be so fun to watch them grow up…and yes I am betting that if you became a grandfather…you’d keep all of the puppies. Can’t see you loving them just to pass on to someone else.

    I am grateful for my family. I did spend six years helping a daughter raise her two boys. Leaving them…because I was too ill to work any longer…broke my heart. But now…I am living alone for the first time in my life. The quiet suits me…and I can actually watch what I want to watch on TV now. I’ve missed a lot of great series that I am trying to catch up on.

    Do you have pictures of any of your pups when they were puppies? You have created a place in my heart for them and would love to see a few.

    Best to you Joe…give squishs to the pups for me.

    P.S. I did pick up my copy of Dark Matter. I had purchased the digital version from Dark Horse. I haven’t looked at the hard copy yet…hoping my head will give me a break and allow me to read it. Migraines make it diffficult to read small print…and yes I have glasses for that…but headaches make me see double…drives me nuts. Sooooo…I’ll definitely have an opinion. *smiles* just not yet.

  5. I missed yesterday’s blog, but my excuse is good, I’m in Kona and it was my birthday. Dinner cruise was fun, we even saw whales close up. I’m still a salty sea dog, steady on my feet after three uber-rummy mai-tais while the catamaran was running on top of the waves.

    Oh, and macadamia nut pie! http://www.macpie.com

    (Only $9.97 at Costco….)

  6. Hi Joe,

    Yes, the Boys of Red Dwarf have been filming again! Yay! *Meposian dance of Joy* Both Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn have been tease-tweeting for months now and began filming in December. I know we’ll have to wait at least a year before we get to see season X in the US, but I’ll endeavor to be patient.

    I certainly hope you can swing a TV series out of Dark Matter – I worry that 4 issues won’t be enough to tell the story and I hate being left hanging (obvious dig at SGA & SGU). Keeping my fingers crossed!

    Smiles, Julie

  7. From yesterday’s comments…

    @Airelle and Das

    The new BBC Sherlock has already aired in the UK and you can find it online. I have already watched the 3 new shows in series 2 and they are VERY good IMHO!!


  8. Hey, thanks Joe! It’s been weeks since I’ve pissed off the Mob, so I should be OK!

    @Jeff: thanks! Going to try the recipe today 🙂

  9. Joey, we (me and Sparrow) like the pretty boys! I also like them to be straight, because that makes for a more interesting contrast (prettty & gay is too cliche).

    What I meant about Whitey in issue one is that I would have liked the entire issue to be about him attacking/hunting them (not just him being around), but with only 4 issues to work with, I can see why that wasn’t drawn out more. Still, it was a really good start, and I’m glad I didn’t read too many spoilers/reviews because I really don’t know what’s going to happen next! 🙂

    Okie dokie…hubby and I are vacuum hunting today, I think. Mine is on its last legs, and its not very old. I hate spending money on something that only lasts a few years. No idea what kind we’re getting now, it will be a canister type, that’s all I know.

    Also, we’re in the market for a metal detector. Since we spend a lot of time on the beach scavenging for fossils and stuff (my thing), hubby wants a detector so he has something to do, too. Thing is, I want to be able to use it on land, too. That’s when you get into big money! Top end detectors (that work well on beach and land) are easily $1500.00 No way! Also, the kind for land (VLF) operates differently than the kind for salt water/wet sand (PI). The former can distiguish metals, making it easier to tell junk from coins and jewelry. The latter (PI) works more like a sonar so it can’t distiguish metals, but instead the signal bounces off a buried object when something is located. The advantage to the PI machine is that it can detect at deeper levels – feet, as opposed to inches – and it can be used in and near salt water. So, if there’s something really deep under the sand (which is always shifting), then it’s more likely to be found with a PI detector than a VLF detector. Problem is, the cheapest (good!) PI detector runs about $600, while I can get a very good VLF machine for around $200. Since this is a hobby thing and a not a ‘find gold and get rich’ kinda thing, I’m leaning towards the cheaper VLF machine (which will work near salt water, but may give off false signals due to the salt and mineral content in the sand), but hubby wants the more expensive one because it can actually be used in the water. Ugh. (We have gift certificates to use, but if we go with the more expensive one I have to dip into our savings…not what I want to do).

    Anyways…that’s my dilemma for the day…and probably into next week. On the plus side, my brother has a detector he’s not using (a VLF), so we’re gonna borrow it and try it out. If it works well on dry beach and satisfactorily on wet sand, then that will help us make a decision.


  10. JeffW: Yes, the grilled pizza is awesome! Easy too! I watched a cooking show on it once and decided to try it. Take a small ball of the pizza dough and spread it out with your fingers. Slather olive oil on both sides and place on a hot charcoal grill top rack. Flip it over when the bottom is brown and put whatever ingredients you like. The cooking show stayed away from tomato sauce. They used cheeses, meats, veggies and they only put a small amount on the dough. I’m sure you could use many variants of ingredients. Please share with us your biggest grilled pizza success?

    Mr. M.: you could try partially precooking your pizza dough, before you add any ingrediants and not using a lot of sauce.
    A friend invited us over for pizza once and my son kept looking in the oven. I had to explain that someone was “bringing” the pizza over. We never did delievery at that time 🙂 .

    On the comic book topic: how do you know which one it is? That they are selling out or not buying enough copies?

    Deni: Elway doing ok today?

    2Cats: Congratulations on your new cat Stash!!!! I work at a local humane society and I love it when someone adopts from a shelter. Shelters around here are becoming very overcrowded. Too many people don’t spay/neuter their pets! I always try and spread the word about low cost spay/netuer programs. People seem surprised to hear about them.

    LisaR: A girl? Good luck 😉 .

    Bilo&Bella: Congratulations on your new marriage and I hope you have many happy years together. I love chocolate-covered macadamia nuts too! (dark chocolate of course) Did you try any of the strawberry guava jam? My brother brought some of that jam back from his weeding in Hawaii. It is awesome!!!

  11. @JulieAloha:

    Yes, the Boys of Red Dwarf have been filming again! Yay!

    I watched this show when I lived in the UK back in the 90’s. I hadn’t found it in the US (or on region 1 discs), but I wasn’t exhaustively looking either. Your comment made me go check Amazon Instant Video and (Yay!) they have seasons 1 through 8!

    I may have to re-visit this show (but I’ll need to be careful about some episodes in front of the kids). Still a lot of the seedier references (Smeg), will completely go over their heads without a British-slang cultural guide, so I should be okay, at least until they start repeating the phases to their friends.

  12. Hey Joe, just want to know if Dark Matter’s available/soon to be available in the UK? It’s been quite a while since I last bought a comic, but with reading your blogs regularly, this one’s peaked my interest.

  13. Those pizza pics look sooo good. I’ll have to make do with making gnocchi with lost of cheese. I get the olive aversion but I’m an olive nut since birth. I’d sneak olives instead of cookies. Only thing I love more than olives in capers.

    I’m glad Max ate a little bread, cute lil’ fella. We are snowed in and the dsl is slow as molasses thanks to all the other snow bound folks hogging the bandwith. I really wanted to see Haywire but I’m opting for season 1 of Archer instead.

  14. @maggiemayday: Happy Birthday!

    @das: Good luck with the vacuum cleaner hunt. I just bought a new one (I favor canisters, too) that is working very well but was darned expensive.
    And have fun shopping for metal detectors which will no doubt be more fun that shopping for a vacuum cleaner. (and yes, we do like our pretty boys! and our albinos. and our pretty boy albinos). 😉

    @bilo&bella: Congratulations on your marriage! May it be long and happy.

    @Joe: Tokyo! Meeting up with any of your foodie buddies there?

    @deni: I hope Elway is doing better today and that you are getting some rest.

    @Major D Davis: Congratulations on your acceptance to college!

    And now I’m off to the theater!

  15. @Tam Dixon:

    Please share with us your biggest grilled pizza success?

    I will but it may take a while…we’ve got a foot of snow on the ground here in Chicagoland. I usually start grilling in May, so if Joe hasn’t given up on blogging by then, I’ll post a link with pictures.

  16. Sooooooooooooooo, I’m finally back. Puhhh it’s been a while. Kept so busy with preps for an internship and those darn exams that I didn’t even find time to read your blog. So sorry for that 🙁

    But to apologize properly I of course found a video. My favourite theme, with the best species on the planet. I hope you don’t know this yet. I couldn’t stop laughing…
    Is there a better way to apologize than to make someone laugh? Well, if there is then…. damn…

    I always enjoy the mailbag and the food entries are cool, but the sad part is they always make me hungry when I have no good food around D:
    Joe I wonder if you have ever been to Hamburg or Bremen in Germany, because I’ve been there shortly for a visit and while Bremen is super beautiful Hamburg has some cool sights like miniature Wunderland.
    I went to Hamburg to go to the internshipday of EADS. Dunno if that company is known outside Europe, but it’s like NASA just a little more engineering, less research oriented. Basically I managed to get a 6 month internship at my favourite division called Astrium, which is responsible for all the satellite development, ion thrusters and several rockets like the Ariane 5. Oh boy I seriously can’t put in words how happy I am and I can’t wait to get started, but I’ve still got about 8 exams to pass before that >_<''
    Hahahaha I'm so excited I just wanted to share this with you guys, lol. :3
    Anyway I got some pictures for you from Hamburg, which I hope, you will enjoy:

    Miniatur Wunderland:
    It's basically the world in small, but the name already says that. Anyway they finished the airport now and it's even bigger than before. It was my first time there and I had a blast.
    The thing itself. This was supposed to be some landscape in Germany. You can already see the size of the construction and you can get an impression of how detailed it is.

    The tiny airport which was newly build and it's quite nice to see the size in comparison to a real person.

    The whole thing was several rooms large. Different rooms meant different countries, but some ideas weren't just great, they where also quite funny. Like this one:
    It says: "Pension with 30."
    Germans where always good at demonstrating 😀
    And for my sake, I hope they pull through, lol!

    It's HUGE!!!

    And you know what? After a few minutes, the "sun" went down and it was night:

    And there was also America:

    Now comes the coolest part ever. Know what America had?? Of course! Area 51. Now guess what was inside :):):)
    Quality is a bit bad due to the lights going out, but you still know what it is. Awesome, no?

    There was a lot of small trains and animations running. All that had to be controlled somewhere and that place was crazy:

    Although I originally only went for the Internshipday a friend of mine and me decided to stay a little longer to go some sightseeing. It was a long journey only to get there after all:

    So if you ever get the chance to go to Hamburg I'd recommend it! There will be a lot of good seafood and some sights that are really cool. I showed you pictures of the Wunderland, but if you get the chance to see it, go there!! Trust me it's so cool and there is so much more to see than what i showed you.Well, I hope you and the rest of the folks here enjoyed the pics and I wish you all a great weekend 🙂


  17. Do you think there is a good chance of this becoming a tv series?
    If it does do you want to bring back any sg personal. Maybe David Hewlett?

  18. Do you know what Gumbo just did (Gumbo = my duaghter’s ex-dog who is now mine)? We were sitting in the living room, talking, and he squated and peed. WTF? That’s my exciting thing for the day.

  19. @Tam Dixon & Sparrow_hawk: thanks! As for chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, they didn’t last for the return trip….and yes, we tried a few permutations of guava jam (not too great on its own). My new hubby really loved coconut syrup on pancakes, but customs snagged ours in Vancouver (airport shop in Maui sold it, but we didn’t think to stow in checked luggage). I haven’t been able to find coconut syrup in the Edmonton area, yet!

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