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The War on Science

Evolutionary Tree original

© John Joyce at


B.C. Conservative MP James Lunney tweets against evolution

Every few years Creationism takes some swings at Evolution and what I can only describe as utter silliness breaks out. The last big flare up came a year, culminating in debate between Ken Ham (a Creationist) and Bill Nye The Science Guy. I’ll link their debate below, but after that debate was watched by the world, streamed live on YouTube, things calmed a bit. Yeah, there was this woman at the Field Museum in Chicago, but the weakness of her arguments meant she wasn’t in too much danger of being taken seriously. (Note: I’ve been to the Field Museum, you can actually see the scientists at work there and I’m sure they’d have happily addressed her concerns if she’d asked them.)
Then I read the headline above and have to shake my head in disgust (again).

It drives me nuts that people use syntax semantics to attack legitimate knowledge. A scientific theory is an entirely different thing from just a regular theory. Many words have multiple definitions and meanings, and theory is one such word.

theory (science): a coherent group of tested general propositions,commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena. (The Theory of Evolution, Theory of Relativity…)

theory (general): a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. (“I have a theory about who committed the crime”)



The Theory of Evolution is not a guess or science’s best shot in the dark because they don’t have much to go on, it’s the result of studying our world, building a foundation of knowledge in multiple fields (biology, physics, mathematics, aercheology etc.) and continually challenging what we know with new evidence in order to refine it. It is based on direct evidence, observation and empirical data. More importantly, science has no agenda except verifiable facts and expanding its knowledge. It wants to be tested. It needs to be tested. And science can be tested, by anyone, at any time.

The Ham/Nye Debate:


Maxine (Elysia White), Haphead Production Still, photo by Brandon Adam-Zwelling. Copyright 2015, Postopian Pictures

In 1982, a little film called Blade Runner had a such a strong visual design concept, by Syd Mead, that it’s been difficult for science fiction to shake the dark, dreary aesthetic look for the future. No, not every sci-fi movie or TV series copied it, but its influence is still felt in what the genre considers dystopia of the not-too-distant future. It’s difficult to shake such a defined look and attempts to do so result in varying degree of success. Back To The Future – Part II (picking up the original story from 1985) went in the other direction and gave us a bright-looking, pop culture-saturated, colourful then-future of 2015. As I write this, it’s January of 2015 and there are no flying cars, self-lacing Nikes or commercially available hoverboards. Blade Runner is set in the still-future 2019 and thankfully it looks like Mead’s vision won’t come to fruition either.

And that brings us to Haphead, a new science fiction webseries set in 2025. The series comes from creator and writer Jim Munroe, who launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd fund the production. You can find out more about the production history here, but it’s important to note that the budget was a mere $4,000.

And it shows…

In the best possible way! A massive budget or blistering special effects do not a great work make. This is proven time and again, and not just in science fiction, though sci-fi may fall victim to it more because visual effects are a staple of the genre. What Haphead shows us is a world not far removed from our own. The skyline of Toronto is enhanced, but is still recognizable. It’s also worth noting that this is a proudly Canadian production, where the action takes place in both Toronto and Hamilton and both are noted as such in dialogue. An Ontario government sign appears prominently in an establishing shot of the gaming factory in the first episode. Being Canadian and living in Toronto, it’s refreshing to see my city as my city, not doubling as New York, Chicago or just a generic metropolis.

The visual effects support the story, which is always the best approach (and often where the aforementioned failures come from, the mistake of putting spectacle above all else). The story is of Maxine and her father, both living and working in this different kind of dystopian future. Times are hard, but not so bleak as to feel hopeless. The sun shines, kids skateboard and chat in lush green parks. The economic rift has grown between the upper and lower class. There are Special Economic Zones where employees work for below minimum wage. Maxine takes a job in one of these Zones at the gaming factory of Aster*sk, who develop the software and hardware of totally immersive video games. The players plug in via the back of the neck and experience what the avatar experiences, moving as they do and fighting as they must. The players are the titular Hapheads and Maxine cannot resist this new approach to gaming, which is still in the beta testing stage as she starts her factory job. A side effect of this gaming is that Hapheads retain the muscle memory of the combat skills acquired in the game, which means they can learn hand-to-hand combat and use it outside the game world.

I was fortunate to see the entire series start to finish, with the episodes edited together, at the January 22nd premier at The Royal in Toronto. During the introduction to the viewing, a phrase was said of the production company’s motto, “blurring the line between dystopia and utopia,” which partly sums up the world we see in Haphead. Then as now, it’s not a perfect world, but it’s not all bad. We see real people, ones we can relate to and identify with, living their lives and doing what most of us do day in, day out, like argue about money and hang out with friends. It’s the characters that drive the story, which kicks in when Maxine is forced to grow up in a hurry in the face of her new-found gaming skills and the harsh realities of her father’s job.

The relationship between Maxine and her father is the core of the story, both their motivations stem from this, and the story grows from it organically. The series avoids painting their relationship in simple terms or stereotypes. The performances of Elysia White (Maxine) and David Straus (her father, Simon) are spot on in all their scenes together and gives the series the essential emotional anchor, so we care about what they’re doing and why.

The series delivers what it promises, a dynamic, engaging story with believable characters, is well-produced and beautifully acted.

You can watch the trailer here.

Copyright 2014, Art Katalyst

Copyright 2014, Art Katalyst

I write a piece on Queen’s recent release of their collection Queen Forever, a set which featured three newly released tracks from the band along with a mix of classic hits and deep cut album tracks.

Pick up your issue today to read the whole thing!


Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

BNL cover art (with text)

Copyright 2014, Patrick Lemieux


Strangely, I find myself defending my dislike for being active on Twitter to an inordinate number of my friends. Here’s the best explanation I can give:

I don’t feel I belong there.

I was slow to join Twitter, but when I finally did, I did so enthusiastically. I followed a bunch of people, everyone from internet cult celebrities to big-time famous people and a lot of folks in between. I engaged with some and replied to friends and strangers alike.

Several things happened in a short period of time to change how I felt. The interactivity turned sour and negative. I’d heartily agree with things I agreed with and debated points I felt needed debating. These would sometimes turn into full-blown arguments and hurt feelings with friends. Or if it was with a stranger, both sides simply defaulted to the “what an asshole!” view of the other and if we were lucky, we both walked away from the argument. Occasionally, neither side was lucky.

The 140 character limit is just that, limiting. It doesn’t allow for nuance, subtly or irony. Nor does it allow for proper expression of ideas, which didn’t help (and sometimes caused) many of those arguments.

I also found myself unfollowing people for a host of reasons, from the aforementioned arguments, to TV series spoilers, to simply not being able to relate to their Tweets.

I also discovered that the creativity I was spending on Twitter left less for my actual creative endeavours. Time was part of it, but it was the need to direct that energy to creating, to writing, to painting, that forced me to look at how I spent that energy. Artists and Writers are not bottomless wells of creativity, or at least most aren’t this side of Leonardo. We must focus the creativity judiciously and then work our asses off to turn that idea into an actual, tangible thing.

For me, Twitter was an enemy of that, a draining, distracting force.

So, there was that, and there was the death of Roger Ebert (a Twitter force for good if ever there was one), getting into an specific argument with a good friend, and getting into an argument with an internet celebrity. In a short span, I lost all desire and motivation to be a part of Twitter.

I create for a living and my family and friends seem not to grasp that the Twitter they view as the bastion of freely exchanged ideas and information is not the Twitter I experience. Is it me? Is it Twitter? I don’t know. It’s a social media relationship that fell apart painfully. I’m still active on Facebook and I dabble a little in Instagram (the jury is out on whether I’ll remain on that one), but I’m told over and over, “Twitter! It’s such a powerful thing! Millions of people…” and so on.

All true.

I still don’t feel welcome there, nor do I want to be more involved than I am.

I’ve written books and as each launched, I tried to do my best to blitz social media. I Tweeted and Tweeted. There were reTweets! New followers! Fantastic! But they don’t last. I would Tweet about the book, I’d Tweet about non-book things, I’d share interesting online posts by others. The reTweets lessened to nothing, followers fell away to pre-book levels. That was it. I was told it takes work and dedication to build a following, it takes time! Well, sure, okay, but when exactly do I write the books or paint the pieces I’m supposed to be promoting? No one has an answer to that, tellingly.

Another thing bothered me about Twitter? Its focus on the immediate, on what is happening right this second. TV show plots, social injustice, news-worthy events, all vital or relatively vital information flooding Twitter up to the second, literally. My new book comes out, great, people Tweet about it, some people buy it, then the next big thing comes along and I’m left Tweeting either “Here’s my new book!” or about non-book things. And we’re back to square one.

It’s not all Twitter’s fault either, I accept some of the responsibility for this break up. I’m not capable of being interesting in 140 characters or fewer, it would seem. The things I want to share aren’t those things people on the receiving end care enough about, it would seem.

My main literary works are based on Queen, Mike Oldfield and Barenaked Ladies, and I find other ways to engage those fanbases. I write articles and guest blogs. I have Facebook pages for each book. I meet fans there. Twitter, for me anyway, was not the magical button I press to receive instant fame and recognition, nor was it an invest in time and energy I was willing to make. Others have and if they can make it work, so be it.

I’m not that guy.

Please stop trying to convince me.

I’m not going to forget about Twitter and when my next book comes out, I’ll try it again, so you are all absolved of the responsibility of extolling upon me the virtues you see in Tweeting and what it can do for my career. I appreciate the advice, but please stop.


Here are my books, by the way:

I may be forced to go to some dark places in my art due to things I’ve experienced very recently. I’m not sure what to expect, because I don’t normally draw on these feelings for my art. I have nothing against doing so and have in the past when the mood or inspiration takes me.

However, this time it’s different in a way difficult to explain, except maybe through my art.

The Patchwork Girl (300 dpi - Patrick Lemieux)

Becoming The Patchwork Girl. Copyright 2014, Patrick Lemieux

Think of this piece as a demo of what may be to come, though it started out as something altogether different.

We’ll see there this leads.

Spoiler Alert: He's Leia's father, too. Copyright 1980, Lucasfilm

Spoiler Alert: He’s Leia’s father, too.
Copyright 1980, Lucasfilm

I was going to title this piece “Spoiler Alert: Am I The Only Sane Man?”

It’s probably a battle I’m going to lose to the excited, the enthusiastic, the ignorant and the selfish, but I’m going keep fighting as long as I can.

I’m probably going to be accused of being a cantankerous fogie who needs to just get with the times and embrace what social media is or just stop using it (as if those at the only choices. Also, I’m only 38).

It’s already been suggested that I lighten up, they’re only TV shows, so who cares?

I do. I also have greater priorities in my life, but the desire to simply not have TV series I like spoiled from week to week should not be too much to ask.

I feel like one of the people in the line up to see “The Empire Strikes Back” as Homer Simpson walks out ahead of them saying, “I had no idea Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father.” Of course, every time I suggest to my Facebook Friends that they refrain from spoiling an episode of a show before I see it in the days after it airs, several invariably joke that Vader was Luke’s father. Yeah.

A good friend says by internet consensus 24 hours is the grace period. After that, apparently spoilers are allowed to roam to free. I couldn’t be bothered looking this “rule” up, because even if I find 20 other sites disagreeing, that single citation of an arbitrary, made-up rule is enough for some people.

I don’t get it. I honestly, truly don’t. We gave up one of the basic, most fundamental pop culture courtesies, that of not spoiling the latest show, for what? So we can prove we’re on top latest thing? Because we’re just so damned excited we can’t keep to mentioning that awesome line that character said? I guess there’s the argument that social media is, well, social, and that people do discuss these things in real life. Yeah, they do, but in real life I’m not standing in a room full of people presenting me with a stream of information on their interests. In real life, we ask, “Did you see the new Walking Dead?” If I answer no, my friends refrain from spoiling it. Yet, the same people, the very same people on Facebook or Twitter joyfully post teaser images, quotes and spoiler-filled posts without checking if everyone about to receive that information is as up-to-date as they are. In person, I can put my hand up and say, “I haven’t seen it! Stop right there!” I can’t do that to an image you decided to show all your Friends.

So, why don’t I just unFriend them or stop following them or get off Facebook or Twitter? As I noted above, why are those the only choices? Why can’t people control themselves and show a bit of discretion? For Facebook, I want to know of other aspects of your life and interests, that’s why we’re here, just show some mercy with these kinds of posts is all I ask. Better yet, don’t discuss anything plot or character related on Facebook. I don’t. It’s easier than you think. As for Twitter, I’ve un-followed people for spoilers. I stopped following one of the producers of The Walking Dead because she revealed several seasons ago that an actor was returning to their role in the upcoming episodes. That was all it took.

Am I Grandpa Simpson yelling at a cloud? I don’t think so, but I’ve had that joke made, too.

I do feel like I’m the only sane man here, yet to be consumed by the here-and-now mentality of popular culture that drives so many posts.

Everyone’s doing it, so it must be okay, right?


The Script On Silk Sheets

The Script Lying On Silk Sheets © 2014, Patrick Lemieux

The Script Lying On Silk Sheets
© 2014, Patrick Lemieux

I saw the call for submissions by the 1313 Gallery here in Toronto and knew that if I wanted to submit something, I’d have to challenge myself. There are few subjects that carry as much baggage as Sex. Obviously, that was point of the call, to gather from many different artists their views on all things related to the S word.
So, what did I have to say?
What could I say?
What hasn’t been said already, or what approach to the familiar ideas could I take?
Well, I had no shortage of thoughts and that was the problem. I mulled the call over for a few weeks as I dealt with more immediate deadlines for other projects. I’d let the thoughts and feelings float around, knowing some would fall away and some would remain. That’s what I expected to happen, anyway. It didn’t quite work that way. I’d come back and, rather appropriately given the topic, the ideas had multiplied. One set of thoughts led to others, just as strong. Imagery and attitudes and historical contexts were all making themselves heard. I started to apply my own specific thoughts and feelings, hoping to push through this crowd and organize it a bit.
I needed a few boundaries, so the best way to start was deciding what I didn’t want to say.
To start with, I didn’t want to be literal, since we all know what sex is. It’s easy to just create an image of something beautiful and/or explicit and say, “Yeah, here, this is sex. This is erotic.”
I also didn’t want this to be autobiographical. I’m not shy, but we’re all different. I wanted to say something, but it didn’t have to be about me. That would be too narrow and too predictable.
Okay, that narrowed the field a bit, but I was still looking at pages of sketches with no cohesive idea or set of ideas. What did I want to say?
Christmas came and went, New Year’s was approaching and I was actually starting to get a pissed off at myself over this. I joked with myself that it was performance anxiety. I sat on the bed, perhaps hoping to trigger some subconscious inspiration, and sketched some more, determined to solve this puzzle. I had images I wanted to use and a few clever ideas I thought might be handy from earlier sketches, but I couldn’t find the through-line, the “theme,” something to hold it all together. I discarded pages and moved onto the next. After a while, around 2 AM, I was reduced to just moving the pencil around, creating non-specific shapes and line. I’d thought about layers earlier, like posters on a wall, some torn, covering up what was underneath, the brick and mortar of the wall. I thought about walls, barriers we put up and knock down. I was getting away from the central theme of the call: Sex. I looked up the gallery website and re-read the description. What were they asking for? Definitions. Individual. Cultural. That sort of thing.
I was back to square one. There are too many such definitions. Maybe I should forget it, stick with creating works less loaded with with seemed like the sum total of human history?
Posters on the wall seemed too bleak, too defensive. Sex is fun! Yeah, there’s mental and emotional baggage, but the act itself is thoroughly enjoyable. Still, I liked the idea of layering images. Maybe they told a story? I did not want it to be my story, though obviously I’d have to draw from my own impressions and ideas. I scribbled and sketched and doodled of scattered pages and pictures. Still, not enough cohesion. It was lazy, too simple.
What if the images were collected, like a scrapbook?
I started thinking about how we collect memories, like in photo albums. I thought about my sketchbooks, filled with artistic ideas and experiments, some realized, some not. Some drawings were just practice.
Amidst these thoughts, an obscure memory floated to the surface, of the Dean of my old faculty at university talking about a theatre director he once knew. This director would apparently draw out his ideas all through his scripts. The Dean said the scripts themselves became miniature works of art.
I thought about scripts. I was sitting in bed, thinking about what people do in bed. No, actually, that’s not right. I was thinking about how, not in the mechanical sense, but about what goes through your mind. We all have reservations, hang-ups, expectations, all those things I was that were overwhelming my creative process before.
Did I just I call what do a “creative process”?
I did. Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound pretentious.
So, now I’m thinking about how we bring all this stuff with us to bed. There’s what we want, what we’ve done before, the good, the bad, everything. We’re following that script, because what else is there? Instinct, maybe, but that tends to only get you as far as fumbling around in the dark. What we see movies, what we’re told, what we remember from Sex Ed., all of that we draw on in the moment.
We follow a script we make into miniature works of art. Sometimes we write new scenes. Sometimes we tear out old ones that no longer work onstage, taking the best bits and tossing the rest.
At 3 AM I had a coherent idea. The rest was refining, picking and choosing what worked and what didn’t. I’m not going to explain every image. I will say, this not my script you see. It’s not autobiographical. There are reasons for everything in the piece, however.
Now that it’s done and I stuff the loose papers of sketches into my sketchbook, it’s not lost on my the passing resemblance between the overflowing script I painted and the real-life sketchbook itself.
You’d think I’d planned it that way.

(Copyright Lucasfilm)

(Copyright Lucasfilm)


Star Wars: Episode I “The Phantom Menace”
Star Wars: Episode II “Attack Of The Clones”
Clone Wars Volume 1: Episodes 1 to 20
Clone Wars Volume 2: Episode 21

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 1 “Clone Cadets”
WCS1#5 “Mouse Hunt”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 5 “Rookies”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 2 “ARC Troopers”

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 18 “The Zillo Beast”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 19 “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back”

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 16 “Cat And Mouse”
WCS1#16 “Shadowed”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 16 “The Hidden Enemy”
Star Wars: The Clones Wars

WCS1#6 “The Fall Of Falleen”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 6 “Downfall Of A Droid”
WCS1#7 “Discount”
WCS1#18 “Covetous”
WCS1#19 “Curfew”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 3 “Supply Lines”
WCS1#1 “Prelude”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 1 “Ambush”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 7 “Duel Of The Droids”

WCS1#2 “Shakedown”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 2 “Rising Malevolence”
WCS1#3 “Procedure”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 3 “Shadow Of Malevolence”
WCS1#4 “Agenda”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 4 “Destroy Malevolence”

WCS1#8 “Departure”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 8 “Bombad Jedi”
WCS1#9 “Transfer”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 9 “Cloak Of Darkness”
WCS1#10 “The Dreams Of General Grevious”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 10 “The Liar Of Grevious

WCS1#11 “Bait”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 11 “Dooku Captured”
WCS1#12 “Switch”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 12 “The Gungan General”

WCS1#13 “Headgames”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 13 “Jedi Crash”
WCS1#14 “Neighbors”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 14 “Defenders Of The Peace”

WCS1#15 “Cold Snap”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 15 “Trespass”

WCS1#17 “The Valley”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 17 “Blue Shadow Virus”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 18 “Mystery Of A Thousand Moons”

The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 19 “Storm Over Ryloth”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 20 “Innocents Of Ryloth”
WCS1#20 “The Ballad Of Cham Syndulla”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 21 “Liberty Of Ryloth”

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 17 “Bounty Hunters”

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 1 “The Holocron Heist”
WC “Act On Instinct” Parts 1 to 3
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 2 “Cargo Of Doom”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 3 “Children Of The Force”
WC “Act On Instinct” Part 4

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 4 “Senate Spy”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 5 “Landing At Point Rain”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 6 “Weapons Factory”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 7 “Legacy Of Terror”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 8 “Brian Invaders”

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 9 “Grievous Intrigue”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 10 “The Deserter”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 11 “Lightsaber Lost”
WC “Act On Instinct” Parts 5 to 15
WC “The Valsedian Operation” Parts 1 to 15

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 12 “The Mandalore Plot”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 13 “Voyage Of Temptation”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 14 “Duchess Of Mandalore”

The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 20 “Death Trap”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 21 “R2 Come Home”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 22 “Lethal Trackdown”

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 4 “Sphere Of Influence”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 5 “Corruption”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 6 “The Academy”

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 7 “Assassin”
WCS1#21 “Invitation Only”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 8 “Evil Plans”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 22 “Hostage Crisis”
WC “Hunting The Hunters I”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 9 “The Hunt For Ziro”
WC “Hunting The Hunters III”

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 10 “Heroes On Both Sides”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 11 “Pursuit Of Peace”
WC “Hunting The Hunters II”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 15 “Senate Murders”

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 12 “Nightsisters”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 13 “Monster”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 14 “Witches Of The Mist”

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 15 “Overlords”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 16 “Altar Of Mortis”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 17 “Ghosts Of Mortis”

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 18 “Citadel”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 19 “Counter Attack”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 20 “Citadel Rescue”

The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 21 “Padawan Lost”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 22 “Wookiee Hunt”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 4 “Shadow Warrior”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 1 “Water War”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 2 “Gungan Attack”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 3 “Prisoners”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 5 “Mercy Mission”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 6 “Nomad Droids”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 7 “Darkness On Umbara”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 8 “The General”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 9 “Plan Of Dissent”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 10 “Carnage Of Krell”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 11 “Kidnapped”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 12 “Slaves Of The Republic”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 13 “Escape From Kadavo”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 14 “A Friend In Need”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 15 “Deception”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 16 “Friends And Enemies”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 17 “The Box”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 18 “Crisis On Naboo”

The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 19 “Massacre”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 20 “Bounty”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 21 “Brothers”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 22 “Revenge”

The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 2 “A War On Two Fronts”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 3 “Front Runners”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 4 “The Soft War”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 5 “Tipping Points”

The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 6 “The Gathering”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 7 “A Test Of Strength”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 8 “Bound For Rescue”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 9 “A Necessary Bond”

The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 10 “Secret Weapon”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 11 “A Sunny Day In The Void”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 12 “Missing In Action”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 13 “Point Of No Return”

The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 01 “Revival”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 14 “Eminence”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 15 “Shades Of Reason”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 16 “The Lawless”

The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 17 “Sabotage”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 18 “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 19 “To Catch A Jedi”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 20 “The Wrong Jedi”

The Clone Wars Season 6: “Plo Koon’s Discovery (Scene)”
The Clone Wars Season 6: “A Moment Of Confusion (Scene)”

*** RUSH CLOVIS TRILOGY (Unreleased)
The Clone Wars Season 6: “An Old Friend”
The Clone Wars Season 6: “Crisis Of The Heart”
The Clone Wars Season 6: “The Rise Of Clovis”

Clone Wars Volume 2: Episodes 22 to 25
Star Wars: Episode III “Revenge Of The Sith”

*** The Trigon Tetralogy
Droids: Episode 1“The White Witch”
Droids: Episode 2 “Escape Into Terror”
Droids: Episode 3 “The Trigon Unleashed”
Droids: Episode 4 “A Race To The Finish”

*** The Mon Julpa Pentalogy
Droids: Episode 5 “The Lost Prince”
Droids: Episode 6 “The New King”
Droids: Episode 7 “The Pirates Of Tarnoonga”
Droids: Episode 8 “The Revenge Of Kybo Ren”
Droids: Episode 9 “Coby And The Starhunters”

*** The Mungo Beobab Pentalogy
Droids: “The Great Heep”
Droids: Episode 10 “Tail Of The Roon Comets”
Droids: Episode 11 “The Roon Games”
Droids: Episode 12 “Across The Roon”
Droids: Episode 13 “The Frozen Citedal”

Ewoks Season 1: Episode 1 “The Cries Of The Trees”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 2 “The Haunted Village”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 3 “Rampage Of The Phlogs”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 4 “To Save Deej”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 5 “The Travelling Jinda”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 6 “The Tree Of Light”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 7 “The Curse Of The Jindas”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 8 “The Land Of The Gupins”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 9 “Sunstar vs Shadowstone”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 10 “Wicket’s Wagon”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 11 “The Three Lesson:
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 12 “Blue Harvest”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 13 “Asha”

Star Wars: The Ewok Adventure (AKA Caravan Of Courage)
Star Wars: The Battle For Endor

Ewoks Season 2: Episode 1 “The Crystal Cloak”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 2 “The Wish Plant”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 3 “Home Is Where The Shrieks Are”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 4 “Princess Latara”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 5 “The Raich”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 6 “The Totem Master”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 7 “A Gift For Shodu”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 8 “Night Of The Stranger”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 9 “Gone With The Mimphs”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 10 “The First Apprentice”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 11 “Hard Sell”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 12 “A Warrior And A Lurdo”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 13 “The Season Scepter”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 14 “Prow Beaten”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 15 “Baga’s Rival”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 16 “Horville’s Hut Of Horrors”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 17 “The Tragic Flute”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 18 “Just My Luck”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 19 “Bringing Up Norky”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 20 “Battle For The Sunstar”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 21 “Party Ewok”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 22 “Malani The Warrior”

Star Wars: Episode IV “A New Hope”
The Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars: Episode V “The Empire Strikes Back”
Star Wars: Episode VI “Return Of The Jedi”


Movies & TV Shows = Series Name: Episode # “Episode Title” (as applicable)

Web Comics = WC + Season # + Issue # + “Issue Title” (as applicable)

OZ cover 2

My new ebook, The Dark Witch Of Oz, is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Store worldwide.
See below for the links to the different Amazon territories.

It is a screenplay without a film (yet) and I’d like to tell you why…

I wrote this script a few years ago after reading the original book by L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. Most people have seen the 1939 MGM movie with Judy Garland. It’s a masterpiece and if you haven’t seen it or shown your children, here’s me telling you to do so.

So spectacular is the movie that more than 70 years later it has become entrenched in popular culture. It’s a timeless story and has hardly aged. An Andrew Lloyd Webber stage production based on the movie was launched in Toronto recently and the casting process for that live show was itself made into a TV series, titled Over The Rainbow. The novel Wicked, by Gregory Maquire, was a huge success and spawned a popular stage musical of its own. in 2013, Disney released a prequel to the 1939 film, Oz The Great And Powerful.

The affect of that film enormous and far reaching, there is no doubt about it. It deserves the accolades and attention.

For many readers, though, there is one weakness (if that’s the right word) in all of the attention the 1939 film gets: It’s so very different from the original book!

The basic story is the same. A twister carries Dorothy and Toto to Oz, her house crushes the Witch of the East, she meets a good witch and travels to Emerald City to meet the Wizard, she makes friends with the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and the Lion and they defeat the Witch of the  West, and the story ends with Dorothy and Toto returning home. However, the differences in how these events play out, the addition of other characters and perils make the differences between the 1900  book and the 1939 film rather enormous. A big difference is that the film version plays the entire story off as a dream. Baum’s book has the events actually happen. The entire series of Oz books Baum wrote is based on the premise that Oz is an actual magical place on earth. Getting there is difficult, of course, but the subsequent adventures of Dorothy and other visitors do have them finding ways of getting back.

When I read the original novel, I was surprised by just how different it was from the movie. Those differences made me think, “I want to see this movie!” At the same time, a colleague had suggested a site called InkTip, where he’d sold a script of his to a major studio. So with those two thoughts in mind, I decided to see where my re-imagining of the original tale would take me. It was a challenge, in some ways, because there are a lot things the 1939 film introduced into Oz pop culture mythos that MGM actually owns. The Baum books are public domain, but the film is not. The film introduced the ruby slippers, for example, which are simply silver shoes in the books. The reason was to show off the rich Technicolor process. Obviously, I had to avoid elements exclusive to the films, but I was free to introduce my own elements and spins on familiar things in the book, in the same tradition as other writers of new and different Oz stories have done.

After Baum died, stories from Oz did not. Ruth Plumly Thompson continued the series and her book are recognized as canon by the International Wizard Of Oz Club, along with various other writers. And, of course, there are the many re-imaginings and non-canon works (like Wicked) that tell different tales of Oz in their own, separate realities. So, my venture into a different Land of Oz was far from unprecedented. As I wrote the screenplay, it became it’s own story, loosely following the structure of the novel, but taking on a life of its own. When it was finished, I listed it on InkTip and hoped it would be picked up by a major studio who would pay me millions for the rights.

That didn’t happen. I wasn’t too disappointed, though, because I knew it was a long shot, but I had nothing really to lose in the attempt. After a time, I became aware of the Amazon Kindle Self-Publishing feature and used it to publish a non-fiction reference book call The Queen Chronology (which you can learn more about here and here) and as I was preparing that book’s launch, I was thinking about what to do with the Oz script. Could I publish it as a script ebook? The screenplay format is rather dry, even with what I feel is a good amount of description throughout my piece, so I started thinking of how I could add some flavour and colour it. I’d just completed a wonderful collaborative effort between my alma mater, Ryerson, and my artwork before turning my attention to the Chronology and getting it published, so illustrating the screenplay began to fascinate me as a way to go. Certainly, existing movies are known to release illustrated versions of their screenplays, complete with concept art, storyboards and production photos. Could it work to create these elements as if the screenplay was a film? I had no production photos, but the artwork was well within my means. I’d written and drawn a comic book series years ago and had done storyboards as part of a script for my thesis in university, so narrative artwork was something I was quite familiar with!

It was settled then, I’d illustrate the screenplay and try to bring the story to life, and in doing so, present the entire work as both a piece of art in itself and an exhibit or art collection based on the screenplay. Because there is no film (yet), it is a story told in a different, uncommon way, but equally legitimate way.

So, if your dare, return to an Oz that is familiar, yet very different.

You can find the book here:



















Here’s a link to a story that’s making the rounds online, that of filmmaker Greg Karber taking issue with Abercrombie & Fitch’s branding of their clothes. Give it a look:

Okay, I can hear a lot of you cheering out there along the lines of “Way to go, Karber! Way to show this jerkass company what’s what by taking matters into your own hands and helping the homeless at the same time! You’re a hero!” I know similar things are being said because I read a lot of such sentiments on my Facebook news feed.

And here’s where I step up and say “I disagree. A lot.”

This whole “rebranding” thing bothers me.

First, let me say that I think Abercrombie & Fitch are being douchebags in how they market their clothes and what they do with their overstock. Here’s the thing, though…It’s their choice. I don’t agree with the choice they made, but I respect that it was their choice to make. It’s free country and they are a business. If you don’t like their brand or marketing, the solution is to not buy their product. That’s your choice and it needs to be respected just as much as the A&F’s right to make their choice.

What Greg Karber has done has taken it solely upon himself to try to make A&F’s choice for them. And that is wrong. It is fundamentally arrogant.

“But he’s doing it for a good cause,” I hear you say, “He’s helping the homeless and trying to make the world a better place, which A&F should be doing.”

On that last part, I’ll say, “What gives him the right to tell anyone else, individual or large company, what to do and how to do it? His moral superiority?” If you agree that he’s in the right by acting as he does, I’m guessing it’s because you agree with his position. The problem is: what happens when he or someone just as motivated starts applying their moral barometer to your life in a way you don’t share ideologically? We’re back to choice and each person’s right to make their choice as they see fit. No one should take that away from you or anyone else.

As for the “doing it for a good cause” motive…? No, that’s not why he’s doing it. He’s doing it out of spite, or as the article above puts it, he’s doing it for revenge. Does it matter why, so long as he’s helping people? His cause is to re-brand A&F to align with his own sensibilities and to say A&F are jerks for how they behave. The “help” the homeless get with receiving free clothes is incidental to his cause. And what happens after he feels he’s made his point? Will his “help” continue?

Now, to address an even deeper problem I have with this re-branding notion. Karber is a filmmaker, so to partially answer my own earlier question of “”What gives him the right to tell anyone else, individual or large company, what to do and how to do it?”, he is an artist. As an artist myself, I respect using one’s medium to convey messages and ideas, to try to bring about change (hopefully positive) in our world. What I don’t respect in Karber’s case is, in addition to the aforementioned issues I take with this campaign, is his exploitation of the homeless to make his point. He points the camera at the homeless and hands them free clothes. Again, his motive is to show up A&F, so he needs the less-fortunate in order to make to his point. The people he gives clothes to aren’t in a position to turn it down and say, “No, we will not be exploited!” Of course they’re going to take what’s given and be thankful. That doesn’t make them any less taken advantage of, put in a position of gain solely because an artist needs to use them to make his point.

So, yeah, this whole thing bothers me. A lot.

Because neither side deserves any more free advertising, I’m not putting an image up that relates to either A&F or Karber. Instead, here’s a picture of a puppy. You’re welcome!

Who's a good little puppy?!  (copyright unknown)

Who’s a good little puppy?!
(copyright unknown)



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