Does anybody else miss the New Hotness?

This is my own fault of course, having dissolved the regular feature, and in my usual melodramatic fashion, making quite a big deal about it. Since then I’ve been asking myself, “When are you gonna hit em with the replacement,” and telling myself that when I get back ahead of schedule, I’ll figure something out. This week, mentally shuffling what needs doing before the end of Sunday, I thought about this objectively, considering when I’ve been getting the column done, and honestly…I’m never gettin’ ahead of schedule.

And people accuse me of being too optimistic…

Realizing this, there’s no better time than the present to settle this. Problem being, I haven’t stumbled upon anything that maintains the necessary flavor and tone, and something is telling me the Hotness should return. I suppose it’s only natural to be lusting after an old girlfriend, because I’ve been too busy to find a new one. Which sometimes isn’t the best way to go about things, so in the spirit of this wonderful industry…U-DECIDE!!

Outlined below are a few possibilities of where to go from here, along with a few reasons why and why not. If anyone is struck by a fit of brilliant inspiration they’d be comfortable sharing, or see something needing a slight tweak to make it hot, feel free to let me know.


Da New Hotness:

Initially suggested by Gail Simone, and named by a roommate, Da New Hotness was the weekly companion piece that allowed me to spout off about the previous week’s “must buys,” and stretched my ability to weave together strong adjectives.

What’s Hot-
Time away from the weekly regimen, has me all nostalgic. Besides the fact that it provided a topical companion to the main column, the additional level of aggression and bravado dials things up a notch. The egotistical notion that I could help convince a reader to throw money at quality product, using only about two hundred words, presents an interesting challenge, stylistically. Because you’re not gonna believe the book is hot if the review isn’t, right?

From a word count perspective, it was wonderful, filling out the columns that didn’t end up dissertations, and even serving as a substitute on those weeks when my head was spinning around my deadlines.

What’s Not-
Been there, done that, did it again. Several weeks away has me catching feelins’ again, but who’s to say that I won’t start and then find myself bored four weeks down the line? Bringing it back in an identical stance is slightly unoriginal, and no one wants that.
And then there’s that stubborn twitch of mine needing to stick by my word, and leave it buried.

Under Construction:

Making the Comic Book. After two years of this, it only makes sense to chronicle my hopeful entrance into the realm of creator-owned comics. The never-ending saga of a writer just trying to tell his stories at any cost, even if that means taking matters into his own hands.

What’s Hot-
This is the very definition of “on-the-job training,” and when I’m able to look back on everything, I’ll likely be incredibly embarrassed over the mistakes I made along the way, but that only creates good drama. Making the transition from writer to writer/recruiter/producer/promoter and whatever other positions lie ahead should add another dimension to this “I want to be a successful professional writer” stance I’ve adopted. And then you add my eternal pitching into the mix, and the few WFH things that are circling, and this concept could go the distance.

What’s Not-
Why relegate something like into a potentially limiting role as an addendum to the column? Every good weekly columnist understands that you’ll always have that empty space every week, and naturally, you’re always on the lookout for topics and features to fill it. If this material happens to be good, then all the better, but Under Construction may offer more than a companion piece deserves. But you never know, maybe I’ll have such an incredible flood of ideas that this has to remain a back-up. Hmm…


This next one takes a cue from both The Source and Entertainment Weekly, and is meant to spotlight the most interesting sound bites in comics. Reprinted for weekly consumption are the best lines found in the preceding weeks’ comics, giving additional props to the tireless scribes dropping knowledge on a weekly basis. Every week you’re going to read a line in a comic that increases your respect for the person that wrote it, whether by design, context, timing, or something that’s just plain cool no matter how you want to break it down. This is where such things will reside.

What’s Hot-
Tried this out in a somewhat limited capacity alongside the New Hotness in the form of the ‘money lines.’ Ultimately, both features in tandem proved a bit of overkill, preventing me from focusing on either properly, so the ‘money’ was abandoned. Running it exclusively allows me to open it up on a much larger scale, and the writer within really likes the idea of this, but ideas aren’t worth much in the end, only their execution. Just for the hell of it, I’ll beta test it next week, and see what develops.

What’s Not-
May not have enough “meat” to remain useful for more than a few weeks. Might not prove interesting at all, but I won’t know for certain until running it at least once.

Open Mic:

Showcasing creators or projects that deserve additional spotlight, with pole position reserved to all the independent books out there. Exposing people to different flavors, hoping something will catch on, and indulging in a bit of guerrilla marketing, because as my buddy once told me, “Warren Ellis doesn’t need your help to sell Planetary/Batman.”

What’s Hot-
There’s a column in the index sharing this title, and the intention would be the same, broadening horizons along with my own. It’s common knowledge that plenty of stories have difficulty finding the audience they deserve, and though I’m not writing the biggest column on the net, every little bit of positivity helps I think. Forcing myself to find the ‘slept on’ titles in comics would also prevent me from highlighting the group of usual suspects that would no doubt find their way back into the New Hotness.

What’s Not-
The only concern would be locating a project to spotlight every week. May become high maintenance, despite its obvious benefits.

Those are the potentials that I’m thinking stand the best chance of success, and as usual, I’m eager to hear your own thoughts on all this. Drop me an e-mail, or post something on a message board, in the pursuit of glory and endless gratitude. Thanks.

Not quite sure what’s on tap for next week, the character designs for Project X have to stay sealed for the time being, but I do have a couple interview subjects I could hit up…

Back in seven.


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