This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.


BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Maybe I could sell some more blood



How cool is THIS? It's not just a replica of the coolest werewolf ever put to film (the one from American Werewolf in London), but it's a LIFE SIZE replica of that bad boy!!

Mmmmmmmmmm. I tried talking my wife into justifying the expense using some pretty convincing stuff: We could use it for our Christmas card photos! We could frighten religious nuts away from our door. We could make it our pet. We could love it and squeeze it and call it George.

Sadly, she wasn't having any of it. Not that I'm on a short leash or anything, but she does need to step in when I'm about to make a huge mistake and dump all of our money on something we don't need. And then, sometimes she's just persuasive enough to talk me out of a legitimate home improvement venture like this one. Damn those feminine wiles!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Conan! What is good in life?



Something else to come out of Comic-Con was the announcement of Rose McGowan playing Red Sonja. Actually, it’s more of a confirmation than a new announcement, but it was there all the same. Now, I like hot babes in chain mail swinging a sword around. Who doesn’t, really? I’ll bet you’d find some cave paintings that resemble Boris Vallejo sketches to confirm man’s fascination on the subject. Still, when I think of Red Sonja, I think of a muscular woman that looks like she could knock me out with a left hook as easily as she could decapitate me with her blade.

Maybe I was just spoiled from the Brigitte Nielsen movie. Not that the movie was some sort of standard-setting classic, but she really did fit the Red Sonja thing. If only Red Sonja was given a proper Viking funeral instead of going on to get plastered and hook up with Flava’ Flav, but I digress.

I’m not saying anything against Rose McGowan. On the contrary, she’s pale, shapely, has dark hair and leans toward the dark side. In other words, she’s pretty damn high up on my “Yowza” scale. But Red Sonja?? Some of the things I did see for the first time from Comic-Con were the Red Sonja movie posters. As you can see here, Rose can really fill out some chain mail. The other poster even shows her “special relationship” with her weapon.

Hmmmm. Maybe she could be a good Sonja after all. I know she’s got the whole Vallejo thing goin’ on. I’ve got an open mind and I don’t have some deep-rooted connection to the character, so I’m more than willing to give it a shot. Actually, I was really disappointed to hear that the movie isn’t supposed to come out until 2010. I’ll tell you one thing; I’d personally rather watch scantly clad Rose hacking limbs off for an hour or two than Brigitte Nielsen. Who would win in a fight? That’s a little tougher. The brawling edge always goes to the drunk, crazy chick. I’d sure as hell buy a ticket to that one though!

Friday, July 25, 2008

yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes



I just read that TRON 2 was announced at Comic Con!!!

The summer of '82, I visited my grandparents and dragged both of my grandmas to see Tron in the theater. Both of them separately, by the way, which was quite a feat considering neither poor woman wanted to see a movie starring people in glowing tights pretending to be in a video game.

After more than twenty years of aching, yearning and defending this movie to those who don't know any better, I finally get a sequel!!!!! Yaaaayyyyyyy!

By the way, the title of this post is supposed to be the Bit saying "yes". It kinda looks like "eyes" about halfway through that. Still.....YAYYYYYYYY!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Batcave would be soooooo nice

I couldn’t help myself. I had a little spare time today and went to see The Dark Knight again. Mmmmm. It was so gooood. That movie got better the second time around, but this is probably the last time I’ll see it in the theater. Wanna know why? I’ll tell ya why. Just as I get settled into my spot in the back row (so nobody can kick my seat), a family of 9 walks past to sit directly beside me.

I’m not exaggerating. Family of NINE. As if to further the “nightmare bunch of folks you don’t want next to you in a theater” cliché, one of those nine was a young lady carrying a newborn baby. I’m not exaggerating here either. This baby was a newborn and its sweet little mommy was dragging it to a movie about psycho clowns that cut people up and blow up hospitals.

“Fine,” I think. “Maybe they’ll be ok. I probably won’t hear them when the movie starts anyway.”

Yeah…fine. It was fine right up until the asshat next to me (Not one of the nine. Other side.) starts messing around with the food he brought. This is about half an hour into the movie, mind you. This loser brought FAST food, which he decided to unwrap in the middle of the show. It was McDonald’s, by the way. I know because I could smell the mix of onions, sweat and pickles. This guy must not have ever worked a contraption as tricky as paper wrapping before because it took him a good five minutes to get to his burger. By the time he shoved all of that processed beef into his stupid pie hole, the dreaded nine on my other side started getting fidgety.

Kids are walking back and forth. The baby is fussing. The kids walk back and forth some more. The baby flat-out cries. The mom walks back and forth. Uggghhhhhhhhh.

At least the movie WAS loud and it was also AWESOME, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

I know I’m getting old and cranky, but this is why the theater business is doomed. These bad clichés of nightmare audiences are all too common and have turned what used to be something fun and special into a pain. The only saving grace is seeing a cool movie on the first night it's out. First night crowds may be larger, but they’re all there to see the movie. They may be dressed up in funny clothes, but they shut the hell up and pay attention when that movie starts. I’ll only go to first night shows anymore. If I’m in a theater at all these days, I’m one of the geeks that’s been counting down the days to opening night. I never have a problem with being around more geeks, because they laugh and cheer at a movie instead of trying to look cool while diddling their cell phone during the quieter scenes.

As if to drive my point home, I came back and realized I had bought the DVD of Dragon Wars and hadn’t watched it yet. That was a crappy movie that came out in theaters a while ago and I wanted to see it on the big screen. I forgot about it, the DVD came out and I picked it up. You know what? I’ll pop it in, kick back and watch it without any interruptions. Is it the same as the BIG screen? No. Will I have anything else to distract me? NO!

When people like me start getting cantankerous and grouchy, we should just stay home. That way, everyone’s happy. It’s a shame, because I do enjoy seeing movies in an audience. I just resent having to block out dipshits who go out of their way to be. . .well. . .themselves. Also, if some douche bag plops down next to me to eat his McDonald’s while I’m at home, I’m within my rights to bend a crowbar over his skull.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not a doll. ACTION FIGURE


Here's one of the best parts about working at home. I get to decorate my desk with awesomeness like this Gears of war action figure and I don't have to explain it to anyone. Ok, so maybe I'm explaining it to you right now, but that's different. Lots of you probably already know who this is. For those of you who don't, you're missing out.


Gears of War is one of my favorite games in recent memory because it's got it all: monsters, cool ships, bad-ass cliche's, everything a growin' boy needs. Plus, the main guy is named Marcus. See? It's right there on the box. That makes it cool, right?


Whatever. It was meant to be on my desk because the eyes stare straight down at me when I'm working. If I stare too long at it, I hear the voices urging me to keep typing. KEEP TYPING!!

Yikes.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's not easy being pale

Yet another reason to hate summer: unsolicited sunburns.

Yeah, it's summer and that means it's hot. Sure, the sun's out and it's bright and all that. Still, most people who hang out at the beach or lay out on their porch or actually go outside know the risk of getting a sunburn. To some degree, they're signing up for it. Some of us do our best to stay inside where it's cool and not so damn bright all the time. We don't exactly avoid the sun but we do...aw who am I kidding? We DO avoid the sun because the sun is hot and bright and it burns us. Oh, how it BURNS!!!!

I was just minding my own business, driving to St. Louis and my arm got sunburned! I had the window down, but is that such a crime? Not only do I get the peeling and itching and all that garbage, but it's only on one freaking arm! It's not like I get a rosy face or a deep tan. I get a flaky trucker's tan and I hate it! I hate summer and it obviously hates me!!

Other than that, things are just fine.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

E3 4 me

Sure, 4th of July is cool and everything but I get more pumped about E3. Apart from some fireworks and bar-b-q, July 4th just isn’t the thrill fest it used to be. E3, on the other hand, always gets my motor runnin’. For those who don’t know, E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo where new video games are announced, new hardware is shown, new sequels are unveiled, new this and new that…whew.

Microsoft: I’m mostly an Xbox kind of guy anyway, so I thought this was the best of the press conferences. Gears of War 2 looks f’ing awesome and Fable 2 is looking better every time I see it. Sure, the Avatars are basically Miis for MS, but I still get a kick out of seeing something that looks like me appear in a game. I know that’s not a very “hardcore gamer” thing to say but it’s true. The game show stuff on Live looked pretty cool and all the changes for the dashboard are more than welcome. Finally, I can talk to more than one person at a time in private chat. I could care less about Final Fantasy coming to the 360. I just never really got into that series.

Nintendo: I watched this press conference waiting for one thing and one thing only: more memory for the Wii. I NEED a hard drive for that thing, dammit!! I love downloading games, but without enough storage to hold them, it gets to be a pain in the ass. I know I can store stuff on SD cards, but swapping them out and loading/erasing every time I want to play some stupid retro game is just too much trouble. The Xbox Live Arcade does it right. I can flip through and play a game or two where I want. All those Wii channels should be the same way. What did I get at the conference? Some annoying woman telling me personal snowboarding stories. Wii Sports Resort looks cool, but that Star Wars game ISN’T what everyone’s been waiting for!! See that sword fighting game on Resort? THAT’S the light saber game we’re waiting for! Wii Music looks pretty fun and my wife got all worked up about that one. Still, I didn’t get my hard drive!

Sony: I’ve been waiting for an excuse to buy a PS3. I honestly have. Sony’s arrogance at launch put me off, but this is a whole shiny new system that I don’t have and I love buying shiny new systems. Unfortunately, there are only 3 – 4 games on there I’d want to play. Resistance 2 looks like it might pull me in. Well, that combined with Infamous, the DC Universe mmo and Killzone 2 might do the trick. God of War 3 would have to suck BIG TIME for that to not be the one that truly pushes me to the PS3 aisle in Best Buy. By the time all that happens, the price should be down to a level where I don’t feel like I’m getting reamed to purchase a black monstrosity that only plays a handful of worthwhile games.

There was also a ton of good games announced like Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, Fallout 3 (good lord, this game looks great) and a bunch of others. I’ve been watching a lot of these for a while and I’ll continue to watch them but E3 gives me one place upon which to focus my drooling, longing stares. Now I just need to figure out how to pay for all of these games and then find enough time to play the damn things.

Friday, July 18, 2008

And here...we....go


Finally, FINALLY, The Dark Knight has arrived! I didn't get midnight tickets, but I went to see it on opening day. All I can say is...YOWZA! For years, like many other comic book geeks, I've been bitching about how the Joker is portrayed in movies or TV. Sure, Jack Nicholson was cool, but that's not how the Joker really is. Sure, Batman the Animated Series was great, but the REAL Joker couldn't be shown on a cartoon meant for kids.

I've been listening to all the hype and watching all the stuff on the web and was quickly convinced that this Joker would be different. Nolan's Batman Begins was breathtaking and he showed he truly could pull off a vision of the Joker as dark as it was meant to be. Everything I heard about Heath Ledger made it seem like he was doing everything absolutely RIGHT.

I have seen The Dark Knight...and it is good.

Let me rephrase that. It was fucking awesome! So good that I had to curse. I won't even get into the tragedy surrounding Heath Ledger or all the Oscar talk. I went to see a kick-ass movie with a diabolical, truly scary Joker and that's what I got. Heath Ledger NAILED IT! When the Joker laughs at something, it's twisted and not even close to funny. That's how this is played. The Joker is crazy, not amusing. That's how this is played. The Joker was spectacular.

Christian Bale was fantastic. There's not as much Bruce Wayne in here this time around, but it all feels right. Bruce and Batman truly are two different people in the same shell. Michael Caine wasn't around as much as before, but he's great. Gary Oldman maintains his spot-on portrayal of Gordon. Seeing those big glasses and that bushy mustache makes me think that the guy I've known for so long truly came out of the comics and stepped onto the screen. Oldman could have sat back to just be the straight man, but he makes Gordon real. That's what's so great and so different about Nolan's Batman movies. They feel as real as they could possibly be while still being Batman. I couldn't be happier that Katie Holmes isn't in this. Maggie Gyllenhaal is so much better (and cuter). Sure, that's my personal taste but there it is. And, lest I forget, TWO FACE!!!! This wasn't exactly a well-kept secret or anything, but I was truly giddy when I first saw Two Face on the big screen. Forget about the giggling cartoon that was the Harvey Dent as played by Tommy Lee Jones. Tommy Lee's great in a lot of stuff, but Aaron Eckhart's Two Face is THE Two Face. Tragic, frightening, violent, unhinged, all of it. I was pulling for Harvey even though I knew where he was headed. When he made that turn, Eckhart made me feel it. When he flips that coin, you know there's gonna be trouble.

Top to bottom, left to right, The Dark Knight was great. I know I'll be seeing it a few more times in the theaters and that's high praise since it takes a lot to drag me into theaters anymore. It's just easier to wait a little while to see movies on DVD. I couldn't wait to see Dark Knight, though. I've been waiting for this ever since they turned over that joker card at the end of Batman Begins three years ago and it was worth every second. It's not often that something lives up to this much hype, but The Dark Knight did. I could go on and on about every little thing, but I'll save that for some other post.

I just wish I could line up the cast and crew and give them all a personal thank you. Thanks for bringing Batman back the right way and letting him fly. Everyone connected to this should be proud.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Back among my people!

Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a good science fiction convention. Don’t take that as a knock to cons in general, because it’s been a long time since I’ve been to ANY science fiction convention. Mostly, I’ve been too busy to travel anywhere unless it’s got something to do with family. Fortunately for me, there was a great con here in Omaha this weekend.

OSFest ’08 was a hell of a good time. There were cool panels to attend, a jam packed dealer’s room full of knives and Star Wars stuff. Plenty of Stormtroopers walking around, other writers wearing name tags. . .actually it sounds kind of weird when you spool it all together like that. Maybe that’s what makes it so cool. Just walking around and taking in all the delicious nerdiness is refreshing. See, I can say stuff like “nerdiness” and “geektastic” or “freakenberry” because I freely admit I’m 100% geek. All right, I made up Freakenberry. I just like the sound of it.

Anyway, I met a lot of great folks and had a lot of fun. With SKINNERS coming out, I plan on going to a lot more of these things. The big difference is that I may get my publisher to help pay for a trip or two. At the very least, I’ll be able to write them off my taxes. I may not get medical benefits for being a full-time writer, but I get to count science fiction cons as a business expense!

I also met up with Nevermore Paranormal. They’re a local ghost hunting group and just an all around good bunch of guys (and gals) who put up with me talking to them for a while after their presentation. Of course, they couldn’t exactly run away, but they did a good job of nodding politely at the crazy man with the tattoos (me). I hope to tap these guys for information here and there about the technical side of paranormal investigations since they seemed to know their stuff. I’ll put a link to their MySpace page on here, so give them a look for yourselves if you like.

Also, I consider it to be a personal triumph that I got my wife to come along with me today. She almost bowed out at the last moment. I guess she just wasn’t sure if she wanted to be seen in public with her husband in full-on dork mode when she could have had the house to herself for a few hours. It’s a tough decision, but she came along with me and couldn’t wipe the smile off her face from the moment she saw someone piloting a full size R2-D2 replica through the hotel lobby. I’m the luckiest bastard in the world!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Agent say relax

Lately, I’ve been pushing myself a little too hard. The funny thing is that I didn’t realize it until my agent told me to take a breath and relax. Normally, my agent is the one asking for stuff to sell or requesting edits or whatever, but this time she actually told me to just chill. You would have thought the month-long tension headaches would have told me I’m wound a bit too tightly, but no. Sure, I lose my breath while talking about all my projects in the works or the upcoming ones, but there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

I’m just enthusiastic.

My cat was enthusiastic when he used to run into a room and head-butt my leg. When he ran in circles for no apparent reason until he was wheezing like an asthmatic kid forced to do the shuttle run, that’s just being hyper. Alas, I was the latter and now I realize it. Ugh. You think all the video games, crappy movies, TV and other short-attention-span entertainment is a factor? Oddly, no. Those things actually untie the knots in my shoulders and I tie them up again when I try to figure out a way to work on four different projects in one month while still keeping each one PERFECT.

I love being my own boss and I’m very fortunate to get paid doing what I love. Unfortunately, as a boss, I’m a ball-busting slave driver with one employee who gets to feel every lash from the whip. I guess this is another way my agent earns her percentage. After listening to me babble on about a hundred different projects and a thousand different places to sell those projects, she’s earned a damn medal. Now I know why she and my wife trade sympathetic eye rolls pointed in my direction when they see each other face to face.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

KILL SPREE


Ok…I’m settling back into the idea that my 360 is back and remaining in working order. In fact, I picked up Unreal Tournament 3 yesterday and gave it a spin. This game just feels like it was made with me in mind. By that, I mean you can die a lot and it doesn’t matter. I’ve said plenty of times: I love playing video games, but I’m not exceptionally good at them. I can hold my own and I can tear through single player stuff with no problem. When I venture online, however, I get killed.

A lot.

Unreal Tournament 3 is all about runnin’ and gunnin’. Pick up a cool weapon, try to fry someone with it, get fried by someone else, lather, rinse, repeat. The weapons are cool. The characters are tough-talkin’ stereotypes. All is right in the world of gaming for the sake of cathartic mayhem. There’s even a bunch of cool monster characters to use for my multiplayer avatar. Needless to say, me likey the monsters. Heh. There’s also a really good video preview on there about Gears of War 2. That game comes out in November not far from SKINNERS #1. Hmmm. Maybe some sort of Gears online, writer/reader fragfest is in order?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Amerrrrrica!!


Happy 4th of July! Freedom of speech and all that. Bar-b-q...light somethin' and watch it go boom. FUCK yeah!!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

November is SO FAR AWAY!!!!


I just got the sample covers for SKINNERS #1 and, as shown by the happy Ralphie face, they are good. DAMN good! I know it’s my own book, but I may not be as biased as you might expect. In fact, I’m sure most authors are very picky about every little thing where their printed babies are concerned. I’ve already talked about the cover earlier, but WOW. I even got the kind of material I wanted for the cover itself. You know, that paper that isn’t glossy and shiny but kind of rough? Well, that’s what I got and it’s awesome.

Ok, so I’m a little jazzed right now.

In other news, I’ve been playing Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. It’s not as finger-twistingly hard as GH 3 on Expert, but it’s still solid. Plenty of Aerosmith (obviously) and plenty of classic rock. Me likey. I’ve been feeling the urge to shoot some stuff, so I’ll probably drift into some FPS action. Maybe COD 4 or some Rainbow Six.

Fourth of July is tomorrow and I don’t really have any plans. Maybe a bar-b-q, but no traveling or anything like that. There’s work to do SKINNER related and otherwise, plus it’s not a great time for me to travel. Too expensive, too hot, not enough free time, blah blah blah. There’s a science fiction convention in town later this month, so that should be fun. I just like going to those things and they haven’t had many in the Omaha area for a while. It’s always good to go and just let the geek flag fly.