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This is my way to combine a bunch of different things in one little blog.   It has been a while since I’ve done an Anything style column.  I’ve had plenty to say, but lately, I’ve been doing stuff.  Some of it I’m going to talk about very very briefly here, right before I complete the challenge that is titled above.

First off, Paradigm issue one is nearly finished.  Page 23 is currently out at http://paradigmcomic.wordpress.com.  We are exactly one page away from the finale courtesy of Twyla April, James Reddington and myself.  It’s kind of neat to see the start of your vision start to play off.  Stay tuned next week for updates for where Paradigm will go from here.

The Watcher is available everywhere.  Check out my Watcher page for where and how to purchase it.  I’m happy to say it’s starting get some reviews on Amazon.  I’m hoping others join in.  I really, really want this book into as many hands as possible. 

Wow.  One hundred posts on this blog.  A lot has happened.  I got a book deal, I’ve done a ton of interviews on this  blog, and have met a ton of interesting people.  I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone that’s been a part of the blog to date, and I look forward to the next hundred blogs or so.  I think it’s time to give this baby a facelift.  Stay tuned in the coming weeks.

So to celebrate one hundred posts, I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about the books that have influenced.  Sarah Hollings passed this challenge along to me, and it got me thinking:  What are the books that influenced me, novel or graphic novel?

Without further ado, here are my ten.  I hope you are surprised.

10.  The Bible – I’d be less than honest if I didn’t mention this book.  The bible is without a doubt, the book behind all books.  For me personally, It’s been the book that has taught me the most.  In particular, the books of Ecclesiastes, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and Acts.  It’s the only book I know that writes its own words into you in some form or another.   The book is worth a read, regardless of what you believe.

9. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan – This book is both comic and novel for me, as both impacted me.  I first read the comic book back in the day.  The comic captured me.  It was a very fantastic world and the whole journey just grabbed me.   Christian and Christiana’s progress felt very similar to my own walk.  I try my best, and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I need work.   The best thing about this is they both fall too.  Still a favorite.

8. Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge – It’s the first epic poem that I read.  It still impacts me and it’s what I measure my own work up against.  (I still got a long way to go.)  My english teacher introduced this story to me and I was addicted.  Good poetry – it will not be the last one on the list.

7. Foundation by Isaac Asimov – Asimov was my very first full fledged science fiction writer.  I just loved how he wrote.  He was able to take advance scientific ideas and concepts and break them down into ways anyone can understand simply and elegantly.  I loved the concept of Foundation and still think it’s one of the best I read.  Asimov was the man in science fiction, bar none.

6. Tarzan/John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs – I love Edgar Rice Burroughs.  He wrote many fine imaginative adventures, but these two are the ones that grabbed my attention the most as a kid.  Edgar Rice Burroughs embodies imagination and I spent many an hour reading about Mars, green men, and the savage jungles of Tarzan.  Of the two, Tarzan is still my favorite, but I love both, and their influences are very clear in the Watcher.

5. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury – Ray makes this list twice.  This in particular stands out because I still remember when I bought this book.  My dad bought it for me.  He was trying to find something to start me into science fiction and fantasy and this was my first book.  This is still my own personal benchmark for short stories.  Ray Bradbury was the man.  The Martian Chronicles had a ton of good stories.  I wish I still owned this book.  I may have to remedy that.  But I think the greatest gift of all is that Ray Bradbury taught me to dream.  Dreaming is just awesome.

4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Another Bradbury story.  Fahrenheit 451 is the only story I have read to ever scare me.  The idea of the giant tv screens eliminating empathy and humanity and books burning was my own personal nightmares.  This book made me question the world and what kind of place we all live in.  Nothing has come close to this.

3. The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan – I could name one book, and while it’s true that Brandon Sanderson finished the last three by and large, Jordan’s hand is felt throughout.  It just has a soft spot for me.  This is my own personal Lord of the Rings and in my view the best epic fantasy produced.  Now that it’s done, I suggest you read it.  It’s very entertaining.

2. Green Lantern – I haven’t mentioned any comics yet, and I decided that my last two should be the comics that inspired me.  Green Lantern as a concept is simple:  Man inherits a power ring that can do anything.  Whether it was Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart or Guy Gardner, Green Lantern was about overcoming fear.  They are still my favorite stories.

1.  Starchild by James A. Owen – I really don’t know where James and I stand these days, but I will never forget picking up the first trade paperback of Starchild in the mid nineties and was hooked.  It was the first independent comic I’ve ever purchased that made me think that someday I could do my own comics.  Fast forward about ten years later and I actually get a chance to work for one of my heroes.  It didn’t end well, but I enjoyed the time I had. 

That’s a pretty amazing journey up there.  There are a lot of books I didn’t mention here that could make this list.  Still, I think this is a good list to dwell on.

Time to pass this on to some cool people.

Hmm…

Rae Hope Pantalleresco, Sarah Hollings, Rob “the wizard” Osborne, Dirk Manning, Andrea Card, Martheus Wade, Tommy Hancock, Justine Alley Dowsett, Kristen Denbow and Florence Chan.

Thanks for all that have read these past ninety-nine blogs.  I hope you enjoy the next one hundred.