New 'Faith' Comic Book Leads 'The Future of Valiant' (Exclusive Artwork) – Hollywood Reporter

THR has a four-page preview of the first series in Valiant Entertainment’s big 2016 promotional push (and details of the other six books).

Valiant Entertainment’s 2016 started with the critically acclaimed Faith miniseries bringing in a whole new audience for the upstart publisher — and the character’s upcoming ongoing series leads the way for a new raft of titles pointing towards The Future of Valiant.

Announced during Tuesday’s #ValiantSummer2016 event, live-streamed from New York City’s UCB Theatre, the new Faith series — which The Hollywood Reporter has exclusive art from, below — is the first of seven new launches across the second half of the year, including the return of one of the company’s core series, the next chapter in the Divinity storyline, a brand-new event and some all-new concepts, all under The Future of Valiant banner.

“In just a short time, Valiant has established itself as the industry’s best reviewed publisher and a creative force to be reckoned with,” company CEO and chief creative officer Dinesh Shamdasani said in a statement. “Now, with The Future of Valiant, we’re taking the mission of creating the best comics possible even further, and expanding with astonishing new concepts, a bold lineup of new characters and one of the most talented rosters of creative talent working anywhere today.”

The seven new series that make up the promotion include:

Faith by Jody Houser, Pere Perez and Marguerite Sauvage: Following the successful miniseries, Houser and Sauvage return for the new ongoing series with Perez joining the team, as Faith continues to try to live her superhero dream in Los Angeles. (Ongoing, July) THR has the exclusive opening pages of the issue:

Generation Zero by Fred Van Lente and Francis Portela: Teenagers raised to be living weapons as part of a military program find a new purpose after escaping from their captors — protecting kids from a world that doesn’t understand them. And in one Michigan town, that could turn out to be harder than it seems. (Ongoing, August)

Britannia by Peter Milligan and Juan Jose Ryp: In 65 A.D., Antonius Axia — Rome’s finest investigator — arrives at the outpost that will one day become the United Kingdom to investigate mysterious goings-on that will test his very definitions of reality and limits of his sanity. (Four-issue miniseries, September)

Bloodshot U.S.A. by Jeff Lemire and Doug Braithwaite: New York City has to deal with a new threat — an airborne virus that turns everyone who comes into contact with it into an unstoppable killing machine. Only one man can prevent the Big Apple from being eaten from the inside: Bloodshot, the original test subject for the virus. (Four-issue miniseries, October)

Harbinger: Renegades by Rafer Roberts and Darick Robertson: Valiant’s original super-team reunites as America tries to come to terms with attempts to activate new “psiots” (super-powered beings whose abilities need a jumpstart from an outside source), creating an increased atmosphere of fear and paranoia. (Ongoing, November)

Savage by B. Clay Moore, Clayton Henry and Lewis LaRosa: Despite what the world believes, the disappearance of a jet carrying the world’s most famous soccer star and his supermodel wife wasn’t because they died — they’re just stranded on an island no one knows about, filled with dinosaurs and forced to embrace their inner savages. (Four-issue miniseries, November)

Divinity III: Stalinverse by Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine: Details about this series are scarce as to not spoil the currently ongoing Divinity II, but the tagline for series is, “Earth has a new god. The world you know is gone. Welcome to the Stalinverse, comrade.” (Four-issue miniseries, December)

Dream Big and Accomplish More

It is easy to set up goals you know you can accomplish. Small goals are great for being able to build confidence. Then there are big goals. Big goals are the ones that stretch you, they push you forward to accomplish more than you realized you could.

What do you want to accomplish?

Victor Hugo said “There is nothing like a  dream  to create the future.” The first works by Victor Hugo were books of poetry, which were well known in their time, but their popularity was fleeting. Then came his still popular  book  “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” but he  dreamed  of making a statement, and creating a better future.

Is your goal big?

Victor Hugo decided upon a big  dream , a  book  about social misery and injustice. Yet, it took 17 years before his  dream  was completed and published. In 1862, Les Misérables was almost instantly popular and now generations later remains so. His  dream  was big, and it had a lasting effect.

Why should my  dream  be big?

He could have spent as much energy  dreaming  simply about providing for his family. Yet he decided to make a statement, a 1200 page statement. While that vision took years to come true, it did. Even now, years later, his grand goal still exists for all of us to read. So why  dream  a small  dream  when that small  dream  uses just as much energy as a big  dream ?

Take your  dream  and expand it. Imagine that your life had no limits, anything you ever wanted or dared to hope was possible. Dare to  dream  of only success. Then take your goal and make it as big as your vision inside your heart.

What if I can not accomplish that big goal?

It is when you reach for the seemingly impossible you realize your life has a greater goal. Perhaps your future will be achieved by you, or maybe you are laying the groundwork for someone else to achieve your  dream  later. Either way you will be able to look back at your small  dreams  and realize they were a lot easier to attain when your end goal was big.

How far can you reach?

Make strides to move toward the end goal of a huge  dream . If your  dream  is only to touch the moon where will you be if you do not succeed? Your  dream  will still be here, stuck on earth. Instead reach for the star furthest away; then succeed or fail, you and your  dream  will be amongst the stars.

Can text in different colors help you tackle the most difficult books? – Mashable

Two months ago, I started reading The Sound & The Fury by William Faulkner. And when I say reading, I mean hacking through its dense prose, line by disjointed line, progressing about two pages per day. I’m now about 150 pages in.

But Faulkner’s classic tale of a Southern family is a difficult book to end all difficult books. I didn’t realize this when I started all those weeks ago. All I knew was that it had somehow wriggled free from my English Lit syllabus, and never came into my orbit since then.

My progress has, however, been massively helped by a new edition from the Folio Society, which sees the first part of the book laid out in 14 different colors that represent different time zones in the narrative.

I have a love-hate relationship with difficult books. Infinite Jest I love, despite – or perhaps because of – David Foster Wallace’s end notes upon end notes, his meandering digressions, his interminable descriptions of tennis games.

Ulysses, on the other hand, not so much. I think I made it through about 50 pages through James Joyce’s masterpiece before chucking it across the room.

Sometimes love turns into hate. Reading the first volume of In Search Of Lost Time, I remember giving Marcel Proust a spontaneous standing ovation for the way he captured aspects of the human experience. Then I stalled halfway through the third volume. I’ve still got about 700,000 words to read at some point.

The main problem with difficult books is this: They just don’t lend themselves to the 21st century way of life. Proust’s 1.2 million words could be devoured by contemporary fans from the comfort of their art deco armchairs. 

Today’s reader has to bat away the awareness of cool new Netflix shows and the insistence of Slack pings or WhatsApp chats. There’s always the promise of something new on Facebook. My wife and I recently added a baby to the distracting mix.

Put all that together at the end of a work day and a hectic commute, and the opening 70 pages of The Sound and the Fury don’t stand a chance. A stream-of-consciousness account from Benjy, the first of several narrators and the mentally-challenged son of the Compson family, whose fortunes the book chronicles, it dives back and forth between at least fourteen time zones. 

It’s a dissonant parade of memories and events, all designed to echo his confusion.

Faulkner himself called The Sound and the Fury 'a real son-of-a-bitch'.

Faulkner himself called The Sound and the Fury ‘a real son-of-a-bitch’.

Shifting from the present day, 1928, back to 1898 and on to many other years in between, the book drags the reader this way and that as it pieces together bits of Benjy’s life and the fall in the family’s fortunes — with just a shift from roman type to italics and back again to mark the jumps. 

They were designed, Faulkner said, as the “unbroken-surfaced confusion of an idiot which is outwardly a dynamic and logical coherence.”

In the second section of the book, narrated by Benjy’s brother Quentin, the action again shifts back and forth between pasts and present. This time Quentin’s more intact mind shifts back to events from his youth in a more controlled fashion. Except when it doesn’t, and he’s compulsively propelled back into recollections from the past. 

Faulkner marks these passages with much freer punctuation. The whole thing is dazzling, with seemingly fragmentary sections tied together by recurring themes. It’s also the definition of difficult.

Every page demands you stay on your toes. Faulkner himself knew how complex his novel was – he described it to his friend and agent Ben Wasson as “a real son-of-a-bitch” and to his aunt as “the damndest book I ever read” — and he repeatedly expressed the hope it would one day be published in ink of different colors to mark the time periods.

The first section of the book has 14 different time zones identified.

The first section of the book has 14 different time zones identified.

That dream is finally a reality, thanks to a lavish edition from The Folio Society, which sees Benjy’s section reproduced in reds and greens and blues to make some sense of the whole thing. 

A bookmark with line numbers and a description of exactly which memory / time period we’re in also helps, as do extensive notes from two Faulkner scholars (some 200 pages worth for around 300 pages of text).

It’s not cheap. The slipcase hardback, bound in blocked cloth can be yours for almost the cost of a Kindle: $87. It’s hefty too, at 10 inches by 6 ¼ inches — not something you’d want to lug around on your commute. But it’s a perfect bedrock for your bookshelf.

Is an annotated version the best way to read The Sound and the Fury for the first time? Not necessarily. It takes away some of the challenge – and reward – of wrestling with the text alone, and it also inadvertently provides spoilers. I found out a major plot line involving Quentin long before I would have worked it out on my own.

Colored text itself, on the other hand, feels like a breakthrough for publishing. It’s a playful approach perfectly attuned to our era. Learning in general has already moved away from dusty tomes of monochrome text to brighter, shinier and more interactive methods.

The scholars involved in the Folio edition admit in the introduction that its literary merits and successes are up for discussion, but the new edition undoubtedly offers a more accessible way in to a rewarding read.

In a time of short attention spans and digital distractions, could multi-colored publishing work for other difficult books? 

Would Gravity’s Rainbow’ be more popular with a rainbow-colored makeover?

 Would Proust’s interminable sentences be easier to navigate if they switched back and forth from one color to another, allowing the reader a sense of a light at the end of each tunnel?  

It’s not just tough reads that could benefit from a new look. Maybe George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series could be recast in different hues, with Melisandre’s tale a fiery red and Daenerys’ a dragon green.

I certainly can’t see myself having the time to really do The Sound & the Fury justice without this help any time soon. Working through Faulkner’s layered and allusive prose, line by line at a snail’s pace in a few snatched moments at the end of the day, is a meditative, joyous and colorful experience.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Dream Walking – Where Do You Go To

Dream walking and astral travelling are very similar. Astral travelling tends to be something you do alone, where dream walking is a more conscious experience where you can choose who goes with you.

It is good to set your intentions when going to sleep. You can ask your Higher Self for help with a problem or you can consciously choose to go on an adventure, using your powers of visualization and imagination.

If you have friends who are open to spiritual experiences, you could chat with them in advance and invite them along on the adventure. Distance is no object, so you can even arrange this on Chat or by SMS messaging in advance.

When bedtime comes, go to bed in a relaxed and happy way and if you feel any tension in your body, just spend a few minutes releasing that consciously, becoming aware of the different parts of your body.

Breathe into these areas and relax and expand your consciousness. Feel the more subtle aspects of the physical body, the organs, the cells and molecules; and become aware of your Energy Body or Aura, which permeates throughout the physical body.

Allow the Electromagnetic Power in your Aura to expand and connect to more aspects of yourself by grounding yourself to the Earth, reaching up with your consciousness and feelings to the planets around the Sun in our solar system and feeling their influence, like archangels guiding one’s destiny.

As you connect more and more with your Energy Body and the Energy Matrix of the Zero Point Field, which is talked about in Quantum Physics, feel your chakra centres activating and coming alive. Feel the multidimensional aspects of yourself opening up and connecting you with your spirit family, healing helpers and guides within and beyond the veil. You may feel your power increasing like a magnetic presence or charisma comes around you.

When the energies feel right, remember your intentions at the beginning of the process and who is coming with you. Reach out with your feelings and start a telepathic communication with the friends you would like to take with you. You do this deep in your heart with a faint starring in your feelings; it is more the intention to send the message than anything verbal.

If they are ready too, choose to slip out of your physical body into your Energy Body and choose to focus with your feelings on the images in your imagination. See yourself soaring through time and space. This is a process of transcending your physical body consciously becoming aware if the finer and finer aspects of Self, until you transcend the physical into your light body.

Remember that you do not really travel out of yourself: you just choose to make yourself bigger and move your awareness around inside of your Self, which truly is the whole universe. It is like moving your awareness from your head to your big toe, travel from your head to your toe; you just became aware of a different aspect of yourself. So choose to feel yourself as the Universe in this expanded transcendental awareness and then choose which aspect to be aware of.

It is all about focus of intention and what you choose to create; either alone or with the friends you have chosen to have this experience with you. Connect fully to the senses in your Energy or Light Body. This is like being aware of your senses in Sixth Sense Mode.

Feel your surroundings, the warmth of the sun, the wind in your hair; smell the flowers and the freshly cut grass in the hay meadows. Start a conversation with your friend and hear their voice in your ears. Feel their hand in yours as you walk along together. You are using your powers of visualization, imagination and mixing these with your passion and desire in a very subtle dream state.

Then fully open up your imagination and your Self to the multi-dimensions of experiences you can choose to create in this state of consciousness. Enjoy your Dream Walk. Remember you are only limited by your imagination, in this state of awareness all things are possible. Please focus on the good and life supporting aspects, which will help you and your friends, live a happier more fulfilled life.

When you are finished bring your Light Body/awareness back to the here and now, reconnect with your physical body again and enjoy the rest of your night’s sleep. Thank all your friends who helped with this process and send them loving thoughts.

Q&A: How one picture book author turned dream into successful publishing career – WRAL.com

Linda Ashman’s life path started out in a different direction – urban planning. But, after starting a professional career, she realized her passions lie beyond those borders.

In the last two decades, Ashman has published more than 30 picture pictures, including three which were just recently released and more that are in the various stages of publishing. She’s also written a book with tips on writing picture books and leads programs for aspiring picture book authors.

The mom of one, who lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and son, took time out to answer some of my questions about her books, the process and tips for those of us who would love to publish a picture book. Here’s our email chat!

Go Ask Mom: How did you get started with picture books? What was the process like getting that very first book published?

Linda Ashman: My writing began 20 years ago with some career unhappiness. I’d recently gotten a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA, but wasn’t crazy about the work I was doing. In a moment of frustration, I said to my husband, “all I ever wanted to do was write children’s books!” This was a surprise to both of us, but my husband encouraged me to give it a try. I knew nothing about writing for kids or about the publishing business and spent a lot of time writing unpublishable manuscripts and racking up the rejections. But I kept learning, kept writing, and — two years later — sold my first manuscript.

GAM: You have several books that have just recently been released. Tell us a bit about them.

LA: Sure!

“Rock-a-Bye Romp” (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani) is a re-imagining of the old lullaby. I always thought it was strange to sing to your child about a baby tumbling from a tree top (not very comforting!), so I rewrote the story using the same melody but with a much cozier ending.

“Henry Wants More!” (Random House, illustrated by Brooke Boyton Hughes) was inspired by our son’s toddler years, when two of his favorite words seemed to be “More!” and “Again!” Everything was so new and fun and exciting, he just wanted more of it — which, for a parent, is both exhilarating and exhausting.

“All We Know” (HarperCollins, illustrated by Jane Dyer) is basically a love song to nature and parenthood. It’s about things that animals and the natural world just “know” how to do — like clouds knowing how to rain, bulbs knowing when to bloom, and birds knowing where to fly when the seasons change — in the same way parents know how to love their babies.

Then there’s “Hey, Coach!” (Sterling, illustrated by Kim Smith), coming out this August, about a young soccer team and all the mishaps and excitement they experience in their first season.

GAM: As you write books, who are you keeping in mind – the kids or the parents or both?

LA: Both, definitely. As a picture book author, the first thing you ask when starting a story is: Would a kid be interested in this? But much of what I write comes out of my experiences as a parent — the funny stuff, the love, the conflicts and chaos — the sorts of things I hope will resonate with other parents. I also think about the eventual illustrator: Does the story offer enough action and variety to make it visually appealing?

GAM: Who are some of your favorite picture book authors? Who do you look up to?

LA: So many! As someone who frequently writes in verse, I’m a big fan of Mary Ann Hoberman and Karen Beaumont for their rollicking, pitch-perfect rhyme. Other favorites are Bonny Becker, David LaRochelle, Melanie Watt, Susan Meddaugh, Maira Kalman, Phyllis Root, Deborah Underwood, Marianne Dubuc, and Mo Willems (to name just a few). I also admire my fellow writers and illustrators at PictureBookBuilders.com, a group blog I contribute to monthly where we feature recent picture books we like. There are so many illustrators I admire too, but the list would be way too long to include here.

GAM: You also lead writing workshops and presentations. What are your top tips for aspiring picture book authors? What do you wish you knew when you started out?

LA: My first bit of advice, always, is to join the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators They have all sorts of helpful information and resources, plus a network of regional chapters — including a terrific one here in the Carolinas. SCBWI has a huge national conference every August in Los Angeles, and the Carolinas chapter offers one in late September. Both are excellent opportunities to learn, connect with other writers, meet agents and editors, and get your work professionally critiqued.

Second, if you want to write picture books, be sure to read lots of them — especially those published in the last several years. One of the best bits of advice I ever received was to type the text of really good picture books into the computer, then do a word count. It’s really eye-opening to see how spare the text is and how the illustrations fill in so much of the story. Not sure which books to read? We offer twice-weekly recommendations at PictureBookBuilders.com.

As for what I wish I’d known when I started out — a lot! So much that I put everything I’ve learned over the years into “The Nuts & Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books,” a handbook I offer from my website and Amazon. I’ve also got more writing tips and resources on my website.

GAM: What are you working on now?

LA: I’m in the process of revising a manuscript I just shared with my agent, Jennifer Mattson of Andrea Brown Literary. And we’re waiting to hear from editors about another one she sent out several weeks ago. Then I’ll need to come up with a new project — always the hardest part for me.

Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.

Dreams – Unlocking The Mystery

Is your dream monster chasing you or trying to wake you up? Why?

Dream scenarios will sometimes offer cautionary messages to steer us in the right direction or provide inspiration or encouragement. When we ask our guidance for help, we can often find the answer in a dream message if we’re paying attention. Dream guidance is free and consistent, and will always serve your highest good. Even nightmares occur for your advancement; it may be time to look into the fears they bring up or the buried past events that are draining your energy and preventing you from moving forward.

Not all dreams come to prompt us to clean up our darker side. There are pleasant dreams, too – dreams that come to encourage and inspire us. A dream of a banquet or party tells us we’ve done well, that our spirit guidance is celebrating our efforts. A beautiful garden full of flowers indicates good growth progress on our part. To dream of birds symbolizes our inherent ability to soar spiritually, free as a bird. These are the kinds of good feedback dreams that have inspired me to keep moving forward through difficult times. My spirit friends often remind me in my sleep that I am always guided and always loved.

I consider dreams wonderful mysteries, and I enjoy the process of discovering their meaning. Some are so mysterious I am never able to figure out where they come from or what they mean in my present circumstance. I just know they have served a purpose on some level. The subconscious mind is a vast reservoir of mental, emotional and sensory input. We are not consciously aware of all of the impressions we receive from past experiences, things we’ve felt, movies we’ve seen, books we’ve read, and places we’ve visited. Any and all of these sources can influence our creative dreamscape. Know that there are some dreams that just need to be processed in your sleep, and that it’s okay to just observe them and let them go. If you are meant to understand and process a mystery dream, it will return to you at another time, in a different way, to get its meaning across. Most dreams seem mysterious at first, but with a good dream book and a little soul searching you can analyze much of their meaning. I love the detective work. Most of the time, discovering the messages brought by our dreams can be fun and entertaining. It is always worthwhile.

Symbolic Dreams: These are the dreams we have almost every night, the ones that seem confusing, silly or frightening to most of us. With the help of a good guidebook, the symbols and activities of these dreams begin to make perfect sense in the context of what is currently happening in our lives. In addition, you need to call on your own intuitive knowing to get the full meaning as it applies to your life situation. Only you can ultimately know what message a dream holds for you. Example: An indication of steel might mean strength and endurance to someone experiencing a difficult time. This would be a sign from Spirit that he or she will fare well by remaining strong. Someone else, on the other hand, might receive the symbol of steel to indicate that he or she has shut down emotionally and should take corrective action.

Spirit uses symbols to instruct us in our dream world because symbols are universal and don’t require language to express their meaning. As you learn to piece the dream symbols together into meaningful messages, your life and the world around you will begin to seem more purposeful and spiritual.

Example of a Symbolic Dream: The dreamer is walking along a path through a nondescript piece of land. There is thorny brush growing off to one side. Suddenly, a monster roars from behind, running fast and looming overhead. The dreamer screams and starts running as fast as he or she can. There is a foreboding sense of being unable to run fast enough, and the dreamer is terrified of being caught. The dream ends.

Dream Interpretation: The path is our current direction in life, and the thorny brush indicates a negative attitude that is causing us discomfort. The monster represents a fear that needs to be addressed before it becomes all-consuming. Running indicates our avoidance of facing that fear. Screams are meant to get our attention; they indicate that this is an important message and that we should pay attention now.

Everyone Has a Dream

Speaking about the power of creating your life, I wanted to touch on the subject of finding and following your Dream. I believe each of us was born with a Dream, a purpose we were meant to fulfill in our lifetime. This purpose not only brings deep satisfaction, but it also serves the world.

When you discover your Dream, it sets your heart on fire! You feel a burning desire to pursue this Dream. Any other “job” seems dull and lifeless. You want to shout it from the rooftops, “I know what my Dream is and I am going to do it! I feel so alive!” What an awesome feeling that is. You can’t wait to tell everyone you know your plans. You expect them to be supportive and encourage you to pursue your Dream…….

Is That What Happens?

Do your nearest and dearest give you support or do they tell you all the reasons you can’t or shouldn’t follow your Dreams? Let’s say you do receive support. Does everything fall into place at a snap of your fingers or do obstacles and barriers show up? What’s up with THAT!?!

There’s a great book, “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkerson that touches on these subjects in the form of a modern-day parable.

“Meet Ordinary, a Nobody who leaves the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. Once the Dream Giver convinces him to escape his Comfort Zone, Ordinary begins the journey of his life – overcoming Border Bullies, navigating the Wastelands, and battling the fierce Giants of the Land.”

Does any of this sound familiar? Are you willing to step out of the Land of Familiar to pursue your Dream? Pick up the book to find out who these characters represent and how they affect your pursuit of Your Dream.

This is what Bruce Wilkerson says about your Dream:

· You DO have a Dream

· You don’t have to invent your Dream

· Your Dream is unique and important

· Your Dream is yours to act on

· It’s NEVER too late to act on your Dream!

Everyone has a Dream which is theirs and theirs alone. Your Dream will have an impact on the world. Sacrifices and choices will occur while following your Dream. It’s scary enough to want to pursue your Dream without all these people and obstacles getting in your way. In the end, these obstacles and situations are placed in front of you to see how committed you are to your Dream.

“Ask yourself what legacy you would like to leave for your children and grandchildren. What do you most want to be remembered for?”

Beth Behrs talks the journey from 2 Broke Girls to her debut comic book, Dents – Entertainment Weekly

A comic book isn’t exactly the natural next step for two actors who have hit it on CBS and Broadway, respectively, but Beth Behrs and Matt Doyle are taking a blind leap into a graphic world they’ve been dreaming of entering for years.

Behrs, one of the titular heroines of CBS’s 2 Broke Girls, and Doyle, a Broadway leading man with credits like The Book of Mormon and War Horse under his belt, are childhood best friends turned co-creators of Dents, a new digital comic series launching May 13 on LINE Webtoon.

Set in a dystopian 2111, Dents follows the human side effects of a plague that wiped out half the earth’s population and resulted in a rise in the birth of identical twins (dubbed “dents”) who bear special, dangerous powers. Fourteen-year-old Eleanor learns she’s one of them and quickly finds herself forced to survive on the fringes of society with the other exiled Dents.

Speaking with EW, Behrs shares the roots of her 26-chapter comic book series and how she caught the comic bug:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did something like a comic book present itself as a new venture for you?
BETH BEHRS: It was three or four years ago, and Matt and I were having dinner here in New York, and he had told me about this dream he had about twins with superpowers. I remember just talking about it and thinking it would make a really good TV series or movie or something. That was kind of it. We talked about it like, “We should totally do that, someday.” And then a few years later, I started getting super into comic books because of Matt. He was reading Saga on the train, and then I read it, and I just became hooked. Then I met Tom Akel, who’s the editor of LINE Webtoon here in the United States, and he was talking to me about digital comics, and if I ever had anything… and I was like, “Well, it’s so interesting, Matt and I had this idea years ago and it actually would make a really good comic.” And here we are.

Did the story suddenly click in deeper with comics as a potential medium?
I think the idea of what you can do with a graphic novel is almost cinematic, in a way. I’m so happy that it is in this medium, because it’s been quite a challenge, but a cool and beautiful challenge. Matt and I have a very deep, emotional life and truth that we want to be a part of our lead character, Eleanor, and it’s challenging to get that across in five panels per page.

Do you still dabble in pursuing the idea beyond this form?
Ultimately, eventually, it could be everything! It could be a comic and a series and a movie. The ultimate goal is still there, too.

At least in this form, you get to tell your purest version of this story, as you want it told.
Exactly. It’s fun that we get 26 chapters and perhaps more if it goes well. We have the whole series broken out, all 26, but it’s crazy to do it bit by bit and make sure we’re getting in all the information that we need. It’s been super different for us. We grew up doing musicals together, so it’s kind of like the two nerdiest things: musical theater and comic books.

Did you find yourself tapping into your background, be it TV or theater, when breaking story?
Well, yes. A lot of the characters are based on people in our real lives, including, a villain [based on] someone that I had as my arch-nemesis.

Will he or she recognize that?
I don’t know. I kind of hope not, actually! But Matt and I are very passionate. We grew up in the San Francisco Bay area together and are both very passionate about the outdoors. It was such a part of our everyday life, being outside and hiking, so it was also really important for us to include the elements of our hometown. The Dents’ commune is set in Bolinas, which is a really small beach town beyond the Redwoods up in Marin County. It’s been fun to draw from our own life in that way, and the series includes elements of climate change, which was really important for us. We wanted to include sociopolitical elements into it, too.

What about your acting background? What layer does that add?
We’ve both been trained as actors, and we tell stories everyday for a living, so that’s definitely been influencing and challenging to get into a comic book. Luckily, we have an incredible artist that, Sid Kotian, who’s been basically the third voice in breaking all this, and he’s been amazing and wonderful at showing human emotion.

Was there a challenge in keeping this young adult-focused instead of adult?
Not necessarily. We knew we wanted a strong but young female heroine. We were inspired by the way The Hunger Games is technically YA, but everybody can find something to relate to in it. Matt and I love YA, and so yes, of course we thought it’d be great to have these characters live in a younger section of their lives, but there are also characters who are much older than me and Matt. We hope it’ll affect everybody.

What’s your writing dynamic like, creating this thing with your best friend?
It was his dream and his baby in his head, so I always defer to him. Making climate change a huge element was really important for me to bring in social issues. We’ve actually done really well in terms of helping each other break the story. I’m very impulsive, and Matt likes to sit back and think. But it was Matt’s brainchild, literally, because he had the dream, so I always defer to him. Also, because I’ve been a comic book lover for four years, and he’s been a comic book lover since he was a little boy, he knows the medium much better than I do, but we’re both fans, and we’re both really dedicated to telling the story we want to tell.

How did your 2 Broke Girls family react to your new project?
They thought it was awesome. Kat [Dennings] and Matt Moy, they love comic books. They thought it was really cool! They’re not surprised by me. I’m a huge nerd in real life. I’m very close to [my character] Caroline in some ways, but I’m also very far from Caroline in many ways. The other day I texted them that I was going to do a triathlon, and they were like, “Oh yeah, of course you are.” I like to keep it interesting and explore new challenges. Like a triathlon. Or a comic book!

'A Streetcar Named Desire' Review:Tennessee Williams, by the Book – Wall Street Journal

Baltimore

Give or take “Macbeth,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” might just be the most frequently performed large-cast classic play in America. No obvious reason exists for the perennial popularity of the unhappy story of Stanley Kowalski and the sisters DuBois: It is long, demanding, and emotionally complex to the point of elusiveness. Yet it seems we can’t get enough of “Streetcar.” Few seasons go by without its being mounted on or off Broadway, and every passably ambitious regional theater company sooner or later gets around to doing it. I’ve reviewed seven revivals of the play since 2003, and I could have seen a dozen more had I cared to do so.


So why hit the road to see it yet again? Because Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre is presenting Tennessee Williams’s best-known play in rotating repertory with Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” You may not realize how unusual this is: It is now possible, for what is by all accounts the first time, to see live performances of the two most influential American plays of the postwar era performed by the same cast on the same stage on the same day. That’s big news, and good news.


Like Vincent M. Lancisi, whose exceptional “Salesman” I reviewed last week, Derek Goldman has given us a production that sticks to the Gospel According to Elia Kazan, whose 1951 film of “Streetcar” was no less closely based on his Broadway staging. The time is 1947, the place a sordid-looking two-room railroad flat in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and the characters are all pretty much as you remember them: Blanche DuBois (Beth Hylton) is a flirty, fluttery Southern belle who isn’t as young as she used to be, and Stanley (Danny Gavigan) is a working-class brute to whose physical charms Stella (Megan Anderson), his wife and Blanche’s sister, is in thrall. You’ll know your way, too, around Daniel Ettinger’s set, which recalls the not-quite-realistic tenement that Jo Mielziner conjured up for Kazan.

The tone, in short, is one of poetically heightened naturalism, and it is well suited to Williams’s purpose, which is to show how a person who refuses, like Blanche, to accept the irresistible claims of what William Blake called “the lineaments of Gratified Desire” must inevitably be destroyed by the resulting fissure in her soul. If you’ve never seen “Streetcar,” you’ll come away from this version knowing exactly what the play is about, and you’ll succumb with dark joy to its musky hot-weather spell—and to the acting of the fine cast. I especially liked Ms. Anderson’s straight-from-the-pelvis performance: You won’t have any trouble figuring out what she sees in Stanley.

Mr. Gavigan and Ms. Hylton, excellent though they are, don’t do anything surprising with their now-iconic roles. This may well be Mr. Goldman’s doing, in which case I wish he had broken with precedent by placing Blanche, not Stanley, at the center of the action. The more I see “Streetcar,” the surer I am that it is most convincing when she is portrayed as a strong but flawed heroine rather than a helpless victim. Kazan, by contrast, encouraged Marlon Brando, the first and most famous Stanley, to muscle his way into the spotlight, in the process throwing the play out of balance and setting a dangerous precedent for countless later revivals, this one included.

That’s not so much a complaint as an observation, whereas the music in Mr. Goldman’s staging really is problematic. Like all of Williams’s plays, “Streetcar” profits from the precisely gauged use of incidental music, but there’s too much of it here: Kelli Blackwell has been cast as a jazz-singing one-woman Greek chorus who strolls in and out of the action at key moments, singing well-known standards of the ’30s and ’40s in a contemporary style that clashes with the play’s period setting. “Streetcar” is a long play to begin with, and this version doesn’t need any excess baggage.

Don’t let these caveats keep you from catching Everyman’s “Streetcar.” The strengths of the production outweigh its occasional flaws, as does the fact that it’s running in repertory with “Death of a Salesman.” It’s easy to spot the differences between the two plays, but to see them performed in close succession underscores their commonality: Blanche, like Willy Loman, is the negation of the American dream, a woman who has pursued happiness in the wrong way and must now pay a fearful price for her mistake. The overused phrase “once in a lifetime” rarely stands up to more than casual scrutiny, but this is one of those rarer-than-rare occasions on which it is nothing more than the truth. It will likely be a long, long time before you get another chance to see “Streetcar” and “Salesman” done this way. Don’t pass it up.

About Prophetic Dreams

A little while ago, I went to the library to check out some books. I’ve been reading a lot of modern books lately so I decided to change it up and see if there were any older books that I could find. On the fifth floor, in an empty aisle where no one was close by, one book struck out at me. In barely readable, faded golden letters, the book was called The Psychic Side of Dreams by Hanz Holzer. I pulled the little book out of the shelf and took a look at it. It was just a plain midnight blue cover; the red binding, torn. I opened it up and the first thing I saw was the copyright date – 1976, a decade before I was even born. I decided to check the book out, even though the book was old, I didn’t see why I should disregard it.

Up until now, I have really enjoyed the book. It sort of has a mysterious fashion about it, written in a very old, formal way by an author who had spent 15 years of his life collecting stories of people’s dreams as research. The book so far has inspired me to write the last three introductions about dreams. In the following, I would like to share some true stories from the book that I thought were pretty… “eye-opening” to me. They are stories of people who have had prophetic dreams, in which they would dream about a vision first, then it would unfold in reality later after they woke up. Again, as this book is somewhat old, most of occurrences have happened in the mid-1950’s, but as you read them, you may find some of these dreams quite interesting.

Case Examples of Prophetic Dreams

1. “Mrs. Elaine F. of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, had a dream in 1969, in which she saw a group of people having a party. They seemed like girl scouts to her and she herself was off in the trees looking on, while the group was celebrating. Suddenly some people came out of nowhere and began killing the “girl scouts.” The killers were dressed in black and had bushy hair. In the dream she was particularly frightened by the eyes of the leader, who she saw clearly. When she awoke the following morning, she described the scene and how she had seen blood running from the wounds of the victims. Ten days later the Sharon Tate murders broke into the headlines. As soon as Mrs. F. saw a picture of Charles Manson in the newspaper, she recognized him as the man she had seen in her dreams earlier” (Holzer 42-43).

2. “In the summer of 1958, Mr. Glover dreamt he was sleeping in a tent beside a stream along with several other people in tents, sleeping bags and trailers. Behind the campsite was a tall, rocky cliff towering over the sleeping campers. Suddenly the earth began to shake and with a tremendous roar a great section of the cliff collapsed and came crashing down on them, burying them all in tons of rock and dirt. Mr. Glover related the dream in every detail to a friend also interested in paranormal dreams, Flora G. of San Francisco. Three days later the newspaper were full of an earth upheaval at Yosemite National Park. A campsite was buried by the very landslide he had vividly seen in his dream” (Holzer 45).

3. “Mrs. Susannah D. of New Jersey is a housewife who has had evidential dreams since age twenty. After her marriage she lived for a time at lake Worth, Florida, but three months later the family decided to come back to New Jersey. The night before they were ready to leave, Mrs. D had a dream. She saw a woman dressed all in black standing beside a car turned upside down, dabbing at her eyes with a white handkerchief. In the dream, the woman said to Mrs. D., “Please find my daughter, tell my daughter.” Mrs. D. remembers clearly thinking in the dream that she forgot to ask the stranger for the name of that daughter, so how could she tell her? The following morning Mrs. D. told her husband of the dream and begged him not to leave that morning. She felt it was a sure sign from fate that they would have an accident. But her husband become irritated at the thought of delay and insisted that they leave as planned. They weren’t out of the state of Florida yet when upon rounding a curve they noticed a long line of cars and police cars rushing by. They stopped, and looked to see what was the matter. Down in a gully was a car upside down and a woman dressed all in black standing alongside, crying. Mrs. D. got out of her car and inquired what had happened. She was informed that the woman’s daughter had been killed and was still trapped in the car” (Holzer 40).

4. “In the summer of 1958, Mr. Glover dreamt he was sleeping in a tent beside a stream along with several other people in tents, sleeping bags and trailers. Behind the campsite was a tall, rocky cliff towering over the sleeping campers. Suddenly the earth began to shake and with a tremendous roar a great section of the cliff collapsed and came crashing down on them, burying them all in tons of rock and dirt. Mr. Glover related the dream in every detail to a friend also interested in paranormal dreams, Flora G. of San Francisco. Three days later the newspaper were full of an earth upheaval at Yosemite National Park. A campsite was buried by the very landslide he had vividly seen in his dream” (Holzer 45).

5. “E.W. is in his late thirties, a chemistry graduate now working in another field. In January 1958 he was living in Florida with his parents, running a business with them. One night he had a dream in which he became aware of himself taking a shower, when the telephone rang. He waited a few moments to see whether his parents would pick up the phone, since they were usually up early, but since it continued to ring Mr. W. grabbed his rob and answered the telephone. In the dream he noticed that he ran to an upstairs extension in a room which was made as if no one had slept in it for days. He grabbed the receiver, which was on a small table next to the bed and said hello. His mother’s voice was on the other end saying, “Son, I am at the hospital with Daddy. He’s dying. You’d better call the priest and get here as quickly as possible.” And suddenly the strange dream ended and Mr. W. found himself wide awake in bed. He worried about the content of this dream, but decided not to mention it to his parents. At that time his father, seventy-three was in perfect health and there was no reason why he should be in a hospital.

The dream occurred in January 1958. In late April Mr. W noticed that his father seemed to have difficulty speaking. Eventually he took him to a doctor and it was thought that Mr. W., Sr., had had a stroke. But the diagnosis seemed uncertain, so Mr. W. took his father to a brain specialist in a larger city. There it was discovered that Mr. W., Sr., had cancer of the brain which was inoperable. They decide to drive back to Florida since there was nothing they could do about it. On the morning of July 15 of the same year, Mr. W. got up fairly early and jumped into the shower. He was just drying himself off when the phone began ringing insistently. He grabbed his bathrobe and answered the phone immediately where as in the dream he had allowed it to ring for some time! His mother was on the other end of the line, saying the exact words he had heard her say in the dream many months before. “Son, I am at the hospital with daddy. He’s dying. You’d better call the priest and get here as quickly as possible” (Holzer 43-44).

Kind of trippy I would say, at least to be able to see strangers or people you know end in a tragic fate through your own dreams. Have you ever had one of these dreams, where you dreamt about it first and then something similar would happen in the future, such as hearing somebody say a phrase in the dream and then hearing it again sometime later in the future? It is said that if a person is more open-minded to prophetic dreams, that they will more likely to experience them. If you are more conscious and aware of your dreams, then you will more likely be able to find meaning in them, and a relationship between what goes on in your dreams to what goes happens outside of them.

Although predicting the future may be neat, having these “psychic” abilities may not always be a good thing to have since most of them end in minor or major tragedy. Is there any way where we can prevent them? Sometimes our dreams will give us “warning signs” that can help us alter fate and destiny. In other words, these dreams give the dreamer a chance to do something about it. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some more stories with you, as well as how one can alter to future by experiencing dreams called “Warning Dreams”.