Gabriel RodriguezJoe Hill's ThrillsOne-quarter of the year down and I figure it’s time for a report on the best of what I’ve read, seen, and heard in the first leg of 2014. Someone has to make sure you’re all properly entertained. I feel like if I don’t take action you might wind up sitting at home in your Captain Caveman jammies, eating Pop Tarts and watching 3-year-old episodes of Wipeout. Here are five reasons to live: Lexicon by Max Barry Holy shit can this guy write. Barry has a killer idea here - a secret society of people euphemistically referred to as Poets who have perfected the art of disabling free will through the manipulation of word fragments - and he sells the idea by reminding us of how easy it is to manipulate us already through the apparatus of mass media. Oh, man, and it has brilliant set pieces too, like when a whole small town in Australia transforms into a village of homicidal maniacs. Ultimately, though, you wind up falling in love with Barry’s characters even more than his brain-busting concepts.
Fiona Stapleskingdaigo asked: I generally prefer drawing figures and props over background drawing, and I've really started to feel how much of a liability that is. Is there any way to make drawing backgrounds fun for me, or some method that can blend it into my workflow that makes it less of a chore? Have you ever had this issue? ryanottley: Drawing can’t always be fun. “Drawing can’t always be fun.” Once you accept this truth, see your productivity skyrocket! Now let’s all grudgingly get to workA Newbie's Guide to PublishingFábio Moon & Gabriel BáA ton of useful information about screenwriting from screenwriter John AugustWarren EllisMike Carey & Peter GrossRamon K. Perez