June 26, 2007

Two Discoveries! (One You Can't Miss!)

Today, while working on an ArmorQuest graphic novel script, I came across this file in one of my AQ folders on my computer. The file itself was not named well: "file____Macintosh_Desktop_Folder_02_03.jpg" I don't know who named it, the artist or me when I downloaded it. Anyway, I was curious and popped it open. Low and behold, it was one of my favorite two page spreads from ArmorQuest:

Doesn't that just get your blood pumping? Wow! I remember writing that scene and just trying to imagine what Sherwin (Schwartzrock, the artist) was going to do with it. When I opened it this morning, that same feeling I originally had of "awed giddiness" returned. (Larger version HERE.)

Anyway, here's the CAN'T MISS discovery I made. I looked for these guys on Ye Goode Olde MyCCM.org here, but couldn't find them.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love the Psalms. (Follow the link to some of my thoughts on the Psalms and an artistic Psalms challenge.) So while I was at Family Christian Bookstore the other day, I noticed a CD called "Introduction" by Sons of Korah. Looked interesting, but when I looked at the back I noticed that the tracks were all Psalms!

It. Was. Awesome.

There are very few times when I have just popped in and listened to a CD and felt like I was experiencing worship. Jeff Johnson's Selah is one. (Interesting ArmorQuest related story to go with that, btw. For another day.)

I highly recommend that Sons of Korah CD. It's intended to be a sampler and, interestingly enough, comes packaged with a mini book of Psalms (which is cool). It's incredible, though. And too short.

Meaning that, from a crass marketing standpoint, this sampler got me hooked and I'll probably be using the coupons inside the sampler to buy some more. :)

But, another purpose was served as well. A man from Indiana joined in worship with a bunch of guys from Australia.

And will do so again.

~ Ben

June 25, 2007

GEEK CRIME: I guess these guys were on the dark side?

This happened at the library down the road from me and was reported by The South Bend Tribune:

19-year-old charged in library break-in

So a 19 year old and some friends broke into the library through a skylight using a rope. I'm sure at this point they were feeling very action-movie-ish. Of course, the alarm went off and notified police of a break in. They found an open window and just waited for one of the guys to climb out and they nabbed him. Maybe when they were watching those action movies, they should have been taking notes?

"The other two fled through a door in a different direction. Police say one of them was caught after a brief foot chase; the other was brought to the police station by his father."

Well, their action movie just came to a rather unclimactic ending.

Here's the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) part:

"Police say several laptop computers, display case keys, boxes of Star Wars books and other items had been collected together, apparently for the purpose of being carried out."

These guys were there to steal laptops, keys to the display cases (cases which, in that library, sometimes have valuable items), and Star Wars books!

Star Wars books!

So, what, do these guys root for the Stormtroopers or Darth Maul when they watch Star Wars? Or did they forget that Star Wars is about GOOD GUYS vs. BAD GUYS? And the Jedi they enjoy watching on Star Wars would most likely try, you know, STOPPING people from doing things like breaking into a public library?

"Schultz, who is charged with a C felony, faces up to eight years in prison if convicted."

This is the worst part. This 19-year-old kid has made a HUGELY stupid choice, and that choice could carry a HUGE consequence. Part of me feels bad for him. I mean, he IS a fellow geek. Part of me wants the book thrown at him. Robbing anyone is wrong enough, but robbing a public library? There's some sort of line being crossed there.

This reminds me of the kid who just loved Spider-Man so much he just had to take twenty or so Spider-Man comics and shove them down his big, baggy pants. When my friend noticed he was walking funny, he started pulling Spider-Man comics out of the front of his pants . . . the back of his pants . . . from down his shirt . . . up his sleeves . . . It was like some sort of twisted clown car trick. Or, you know, that magic trick where the handkerchief just keeps coming out of the clown's pocket? Meanwhile, in the VERY Spider-Man stories that kid loves so much, Spidey busts kids just like him for doing things just like that! My friend was SO tempted to ask the kid, after he'd been caught and the police were called, to ask him, "What would Spider-Man think of you doing this?" Instead, he asked the police to give the kid a talking to and didn't press charges.

Geek crime.

I think I just got an idea for a comic book . . .

~ Ben

June 20, 2007

TODAY . . . from Marvel Comics . . . and me . . .

Today marks the release of The Hedge Knight II: The Sworn Sword #1, published by Marvel Comics (the people who bring you Spider-Man, X-Men, and Fantastic Four) and based on the novella by New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin.

Marvel just recently published the first Hedge Knight story, entitled The Hedge Knight, in a hard cover collection.

Hedge Knight also happens to have been scripted by Ben Avery, who happens to be me, which happens to be why I'm telling you about it here.

I love the Hedge Knight stories (which is good, since I've spent so much time working on them), because they deal with a young knight who is trying to follow his vows of knighthood seriously and honorably in a world that looks on such things as antiquated or a nuisance. It delves into themes of sacrifice and honor and when I first got involved, these themes really resonated with me as a Christian.

The story itself has really resonated with readers as well, which is why Marvel Comics is giving it the treatment it has: hard cover collection for the first story, and now the release of the second comic book series, which, if successful, will also be collected as a hard cover edition.

For more information, a peak at the covers for issue 1, and information about my other work (such as the graphic novels I am writing for Zondervan) check out www.benaveryonline.com.

~ Ben

June 19, 2007

When Worlds Collide

I've always found it interesting that people who seem to come from different worlds are actually much more alike than they would like to believe. I wrote the script for this short comic. My friend Bud Rogers drew it. It appeared in The Megazeen (www.megazeenonline.com).

For a higher resolution version, check out: http://web.mac.com/benavery/iWeb/Fans/Comic.html

Coming soon: Why the summer of 2007 is one I've been looking forward to, part 2!