Zubby Newsletter #13: Technology is Wonderful…Until It’s Not

On Sunday afternoon, I stared at my laptop in genuine shock as it showed me I lost over five hours of writing work.

I was so stressed I gave myself a headache.

I re-opened my script file and it was from the day before.

Back-ups on my user profile roaming data were the day before.

Google Drive on the cloud was also the day before.

I checked and rechecked Word’s autosave folders and nothing was current. Absolutely maddening.

I imagined trying to explain to my editor and the art team that “my computer ate my homework” and how full of shit they’d think I was.

I tried to stay calm and methodically check every spot, but none of it was up to date. It was all from the day before and I was spinning in circles.

Finally, at my wit’s end I vent to Stacy. I’m so damn angry and don’t know how this happened.

Cool as can be, she says “Check OneDrive.”

“I don’t use OneDrive.”

“Check anyways.”

Wouldn’t you know it? Word switched the damn file over to OneDrive and didn’t save anything to my local machine.

I got the current file back, re-saved it to Google Drive and then emailed a copy to myself as a failsafe so I could stop my brain from whirling.

Crisis averted. Sanity returned. Deadline met. *whew*

Blood Will Flow

The Diamond Previews catalogue ran an interview with me about the CONAN THE BARBARIAN relaunch coming in July. I know I’m beating the drum like crazy here in my newsletter, but only because I’m so pumped for this launch.

Anyways, this summarizes our mission on the series and how easy it is to jump in-

Productivity, Quantity, and Quantity

In late 2013 I put together a blogpost discussing productivity that included a dorky bar chart showcasing how many comic pages I wrote each year from 2009-2013. A few weeks ago I decided to look at how my career and priorities have changed and what I’ve learned in the nine years since then.

Planning for the future is good, but looking back at the past with extra clarity is nice too.

Rule Breakers and Reprobates

Stacy and I don’t get a chance to watch much TV, but Ted Lasso has been a staple for us since it launched in 2020. As I mentioned in the past, that “screwed up characters doing their best with their heart on their sleeves” approach was a big inspiration for the Thunderbolts relaunch I wrote last year. It’s been a joy watching the characters and their dramatic turns play out on the screen.

Season 3 has been bumpy in terms of character development, pacing, and payoffs, but episode 11, Mom City, was a real high point for both this season and the series as a whole.

Coach Beard has been a character I haven’t been crazy about during the show’s run. Brendan Hunt is a compelling and capable actor, but Beard has always felt like the “weird wingman”, inscrutable and unflappable, both conservative and hedonistic without much rhyme or reason.

I didn’t understand why he had a laced-down work attitude that seemed rooted in logic but also ride-or-die backed up every strange decision Ted made. I didn’t understand his unbreakable loyalty for Ted mixed with the addictive and confrontational approach he had with other characters in the cast.

And then, in one amazing scene that seems to break all the rules by having a character flat-out tell us their past mistakes and current motivation, Beard became fully formed with way more depth than I imagined. It was so damn good that it rippled backward and made a bunch of key scenes from previous episodes far better, enriching the show on every level. I don’t know if the writers planned Beard’s back story like this from the start, and honestly it doesn’t matter, because it was just a knockout.

I have problems with some of the meandering plotlines and exaggerated characterization this season and worry whether or not the team can stick the landing in the final episode but, whatever happens, this piece was wonderful and left a real emotional mark on both of us.

Eisner Voting

The timeline for Eisner Award voting is quite tight and far more people in the comic industry are eligible to vote than many of them realize.

Voter registration ends on Friday, JUNE 2nd. The vote deadline is Friday, JUNE 9th.

Eligible voters include:

  • Comic/graphic novel/webcomic creators (writers, artists, pencilers, inkers, letterers, or colorists)
  • Comic/graphic novel publishers or editors
  • Comic historians or educators
  • Graphic novel librarians
  • Owners or managers of comic retail specialty stores

Click here to head to the registration form.

If you’re qualified to vote in the Eisners and put a vote in for Moon Knight: Black, White, and Blood #3  for “Best Single Issue/One Shot”, I’d really appreciate it.

Last year, Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons Deluxe Edition was nominated for “Best Graphic Album-Reprint” and it was a lot of fun being at the ceremony, but the lion’s share of that was due to Sarah Rockwell’s wonderful design work on the book, so having my name front and center on the nomination felt a bit awkward. This year’s nomination is more focused on the comic itself – the story and art – so I’m even more excited.

Links and Other Things

  • Over his lunch break, Richard Friend raves about Rob De La Torre’s artwork, including some thoughtful analysis of why Rob’s work looks so damn good. It’s far more than just the classic artists who influence him.
  • Comrade Bullski has a great Tweet thread that covers the tumultuous publishing history of Conan the Barbarian in prose.
  • Matthew Colville has a sharp rundown on how a Dungeon Master can enjoy prepping for a D&D session.
  • That should cover it for this week.

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