Tuesday, June 20, 2006

GREAT News and a Childhood Flashback

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but I promise I've been busy. Really! Some of you may already know by reading my wife's blog that she is finalizing the editing of her first novel as I write this! The book doesn't come out until next Spring, but it'll be worth the wait because she's just a fantastic writer. Thankfully, her editor has been supportive of the idea of me or us (Laini and me) doing the cover and interior artwork for the first book as long as whatever I or we came up with could get past the (BIG!) hurdle of getting the artwork approved by the Publisher, the Art Director, the Marketing department, and the Sales department. As it turned out, Laini's been WAY too busy to do the art herself, but I told her to art direct me if she wanted, as this is, after all, HER book. Anyhow, after a few weeks of hard work and a handful of sleepless (work-filled) nights, the cover pitch I designed was okayed and I was officially hired last week! Sadly, I can't show any of the work here because of publishing legal-type stuff, but I was really pleased with how the cover turned out since it's slightly more design-oriented than much of my work, and a bit different style as well. So, in addition to the cover, I'm also doing the chapter-heading spots and possibly a thing or two more. Some of you great blogger-kids have already congratulated me (THANK YOU!), but I figured this was indeed big news that I should share on my own little blog. Exciting times indeed!

Amidst all of this, these past few weeks I got into a few conversations with people about childhood TV shows that were addicting as we grew up. For me, 2 of the shows that I LOVED were the "Ultraman" show and the "Spectreman" show. These were basically very cheesy, but awesome nonetheless pre-Power Rangers type shows made in Japan and dubbed over here to the great pleasure of many a kid. In fact, when I brought up these characters with a few friends they flipped out and started rattling off details I hadn't thought of in decades. Describing the opening scenes with the credits, the villains, and TONS of other details that were buried deep in my wee head. For those of you not familiar with the characters, I BET you have a loved one in your life who was at the very least, aware of these shows & characters, if not completely IN LOVE with the corny-goodness. Both of these guys (separate TV shows btw) shot rays out of their hands, could fly, AND could grow from human-size to upwards of like 200 feet -- in other words: cool as hell!) Here are a couple shots of Ultraman:

And a couple shots of Spectreman (and it should be noted that I dressed up in an AWESOME Spectreman costume that my amazing Mom made along with me for my 3rd grade Halloween. I even won a costume contest that year!):

It should ALSO be noted that Laini thinks these guys look really lame, but I freaking LOVE them. My slight touch of OCD has freakily kicked in and I'm almost positive that a poseable action figure (they're NOT toys dammit!) or two will be making it's (their?) way to my area of the studio soon. I bet if I told Laini that it was somehow tied into "Pride and Prejudice" (Mr. Darcy's alter-ego IS Spectreman!), she'd somehow find a way to back-pedal and admit that she actually thought these guys were pretty sexy. :) Also, these guys should totally NOT be made fun of. Do you people even REALIZE how many times they've saved the planet between them?!!! If it weren't for them we'd all be overrun by evil alien masterminds AND 200 foot tall monsters! Hello?! A little gratitude please?!


Laini Taylor said...

I knew I was marrying a nerd. I knew it, and went through with it and I have been blissfully happy every day since. I have gone to comic book conventions with you, watched Buffy and X-files with you, plotted vampire stories of our own, written a horror story for you to illustrate (and now a fantasy. Yay!), and not made fun of your Superman tattoo. I haven't even REALLY mocked you for talking about Spiderman and Batman like they're real people. It's cool. But that last picture of Spectreman, um... really? He like Mexican wrestling meets Japanese alien. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

(You're silly, and I love you! But PLEASE don't overload on goofy "action figures"!)

Stevo said...

YES!! Jim I couldn't agree more, Ultraman was possibly the coolest thing ever. I have an uncle that still holds contempt for being made to sit through the Ultraman movie (by his count) at least 100 times. My dad however enjoyed this movie as much as my brother and I, if not more. Proving the fact that Ultraman was cool, and still is. Because the only guy cooler than Ultraman at that age was of course my dad. So go forth Jim, and spread the word(those monters could be back at any time).

Jim, don't stop at just action figures. You and I know that an Ultraman T-shirt is the only way to truly honor him.

chest of drawers said...

I guess everyone must have their heroes.

Alexandra S said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chompoblogger said...

Dude! I'm so glad you got the cover job. That is fantastic. Have some champagne or beer or something!!!!

I'm not touching the Spectreman discussion, though.


HoBess said...

We watch too much Power Rangers in our house, but Andy's and my favorites are the oldest, cheesiest ones!

The funniest thing happened in my mini-van the other day and ... even funnier ... it made me think of you. My 5-year-old insists he has the special powers of laser vision and super hearing. He actually got into an argument about it with his 7-year-old brother, pulling down his cheeks and sharing the location in his eyeballs of said laser vision. Mr. 7 wasn't buying it, but I couldn't help but think we all believe in super powers at some point ... what was yours?

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Laini - Don't worry, you won't be tripping over action figures in our house (unless the 2 I ordered fall on the ground and you, well, trip :) Love ya! :)

Stevo - Thanks for joining in! Welcome to Blogger-land! Can't wait to see some of your work up on your blog sometime (soon?)!! And I love your admiration of your Dad, that's so awesome man. Oh, and the original "Ultraman" TV series from 1966 is finally coming out on DVD in mid July for the first time ever! ... I'm just saying ... :)

Chest of Drawers - I think what you meant to say was "Oh MAN these guys sound COOL!" -- right?

Jaime - Thanks for the congrats! I love your art on your blog! So fun!

Hobess - I LOVE that Mr. 5 was convinced of his laser vision and super-hearing! :) I love that he was SO convinced that he showed Mr. 7 where his powers were located and felt strongly enough about it to argue! HA! That's great! And for me, I guess I always wanted super-strength/invulnerability. It's funny that within a few weeks of our relationship, Laini and I had already chosen our top 3 powers each. She definitely married a nerd ... but so did I! :)