Archive for the ‘Personal Projects’ Category

next year I will just live tweet this stuff

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

For one thing I will have a larger built-in guarantee that someone will read it. Then all I have to do is go back and transcribe it to keep it. 140 characters is a fun bit. This is just a typing text. Wow.

So I can live-blog the Super Bowl commercials

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

I wonder if anyone will read this.

Hu’ta’ QISt!

Sunday, April 24th, 2011
German – Christus ist auferstanden!
Italian – Cristo è risorto!
Greek – Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Polish – Chrystus zmartwychwstał!
Irish – Tá Críost éirithe!
Filipino – Si Kristo ay nabuhay!
Japanese – ハリストス復活!
Swahili – Kristo Amefufukka!
Hebrew – !המשיח קם! באמת קם
Mandarin – 基督復活了 他確實復活了
Hungarian – Krisztus feltámadt!
Klingon – Hu’ta’ QISt!
English – Christ is Risen!


Metro Med trailer and Facebook page

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

I’ve created a new Facebook page for Metro Med.
This also allows me to have an embeddable version of the comic book’s trailer:

If you’d like to embed this in your blog or other web page, use this code:
<object width="400" height="224" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="" /><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="224"></embed></object>

If you’re near the Wausau, WI, area, don’t forget to visit WASFen this weekend!

Tom Russell’s superhero novel now available on Amazon

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

My novel JOLT CITY is now on sale for $25.

From the back cover copy:

When Jolt City’s sworn protector the Green Knight falls ill with cancer, his former sidekick Martin Rock embarks on an incredible journey: from self-reliance to friendship, from pain to peace, from anger to joy.

Along the way, he’ll fight a jousting match atop a unicycle, team up with a super-speedster, visit an alternate earth populated by talking snails, and thwart an invasion.

Unabashedly in love with its genre but unafraid to take it deadly seriously, JOLT CITY is free of camp, laced with literary wit and heightened with stark poetical beauty. So turn off your bleeper, snuggle up in bed, pull the covers over your head, flick on your electric torch, and get ready for 358 pages of unrelenting two-fisted awesomeness.

Metro Med featured on Comic Book Trailers home page!

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

After months of development, Metro Med’s trailer has hit the Internet!

I’m so excited that I can finally show this to you.  I was planning to upload it to YouTube and feature it on all of my web sites as an embed, but Comic Book Trailers posted it and featured it on their home page already, so I’m letting you all in early.

Enjoy…and I’ d be glad to hear any feedback you may have.

P.S. I’m planning on some revamps and updates for both and this weekend.  I’ll start selling Metro Med Special Edition #1 on Too Many Longboxes, for one.  I’m also adding some Project Wonderful banners.

Okay, everyone. Fine!

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

I’m on Facebook, too.

So now I’m on Twitter and MySpace and ComicSpace and Facebook and LinkedIn, and none of them are going to be maintained well enough because I’m trying to keep this blog going and I’m not even doing THAT very well!

Hey, It’s My Film on DVD

Monday, April 20th, 2009

One of the last things I posted before my long sabbatical from Monitor Duty was a trailer for a film my wife and I have made. In the interim, we’ve made another feature and we’ve begun writing yet another still.

For reasons explained in this interview, we’re self-distributing our films on DVD via and CreateSpace, with V.O.D. looming in the near future, starting with that afore-trailered film, The Man Who Loved.


My best friend has written a book!

Monday, April 6th, 2009

My lifelong best friend Brian Collins, best man at my wedding and the nicest guy I know, has written a book. Entitled “To Dream Of Flight,” it’s the picture-filled story of how man first dreamed of flying by watching the birds.

Brian’s been a nature nut and shutterbug his entire life. He looks up into trees that are apparently empty and manages to spot tiny brown birds that aren’t moving. He tracks animals as though he were a full-blooded American Indian. And he’s taken pictures so gorgeous that his work has graced calendars, Cabin Life magazine and the “Birds of (State)” series by Stan Takeila, the latter of which are in almost every book store and gift shop in the midwest.  It’s weird to be wandering in a store and come across the book containing his photos.

(I think he’s in all of those; for sure he’s in the first one.)

This looks like a great coffee table book.  I’m putting it right next to Mr. Pinsky’s classic coffee table book.

Keep up with Phil Meadows

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Many of you know Phil Meadows from his time as the art director for or as the illustrator of the comic works I’ve written (Job Wanted, Time Meddlers and Metro Med).  Phil and his wife Sherry are currently in China adopting their second child, and you can follow their adventures in their blog.  Their new son, Keith, has some arm injuries and may be legally blind, and they will no doubt be investigating what American medical science can do for him once they return.  Let’s all wish the Meadows family the best in all their years of joys and challenges ahead.

P.S.  Check out this joke.  Cute, Phil.

FallCon 2008 – Biggest FallCon EVER

Friday, October 10th, 2008

FallCon, annually held on the first weekend of October at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, celebrated its 20th anniversary with its biggest convention ever.

For the first time, it was held in the grandstand facility, which was not only bigger but more comfortable than past conventions. (We were freezing in 2006 and drenched in sweat in 2007, though admittedly the reasonably crisp weather this year may have had more to do with it than the building.) I don’t know whether this was a special case for the 20th convention or if they can get this hall next year, but I hope they try.

Attendance was amazing. I arrived 40 minutes late and the line STILL extended out the door and to the end of the block.

The big thing this year was the sketch cards. All artists attending, and many professionals friendly to the Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA), were asked to do several sketches on trading card-sized cards. One batch of cards was given away to the attendees on a first-come first-served basis, with all of the cards flipped over so that you don’t know if you’re getting a card from a struggling artist or Adam Hughes. The next batch was, I believe, distributed by raffle on Sunday. And finally, a third complete set of cards from all participating artists was auctioned off as a single lot for the charity auction. (Winner was Nick Post of the MCBA with a bid of Five Thousand Dollars!)

As always, the convention guys knocked themselves out putting the show together and attending to everyone with refreshments. There were more costumes than ever before…including TWO Mrs. Incredibles! The special guests included some first-time attendees including John Ostrander (whom I never did find when wandering around) and Peter Tomasi (whom I teased for his recent GL Corps issue where Green Lantern rings now store retinal ID information on every person in the universe — I mean, come onnnn!).

I attended as an invited guest, which was as always a great honor. For the first time, I had a lovely backdrop promoting Metro Med, my attractive collapsible display stand for the books, as well as a brand new comic book trailer playing on a monitor screen, all to draw the attentions of anyone passing by. I did another print run of 100 issues of Metro Med. I purchased some new sign-making software and created a better handout promoting and Metro Med. Also, I took three days off from work and spent the entire time updating the catalog for Too Many Longboxes so that it was ready to be visited by all the newcomers. This is probably the most prepared and professional I’ve ever been for a convention.

I sold one comic.


I know, I know. Unless you can draw and thus sell sketches, you never make a profit on a convention appearance. Really, the cost of gas and such can’t be offset by selling comic books. It’s about promotion. Still…

One comic. That’s, like, the least possible amount of money TO make.

Erik Burnham, who shared my table, also had a rougher time selling sketches than he has had in a while. At WizardWorld this summer (which was pretty poor overall), Erik was cranking out the sketches for $10 each and people were snapping them up. Here, $5 was the asking price and sales were still limping. (Oddly enough, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sketches were hot. Don’t ask me why!) Numerous vendors expressed concerns about making enough sales to warrant the trip, too. Thus, I’m inclined to not take it personally, as though I was the only one having a hard time making a buck.

I don’t blame the convention. It was well-attended. We may have not had the best location in the hall, but most attendees get around the whole convention floor anyway.

I think it is partly the overall economy. Independent creators have a rough time convincing people to try their books even in the best of financial times, so when money is tight it is mainly used to buy collectibles, art from big name professionals or back-issues at discount rates.

I can’t control the economy. However, one thing I should have thought of is that by printing the new Metro Med Special Edition #1 with the same cover artwork as my 2005 ashcan edition it looks like I’m displaying the same comic I’ve had for the last few years. Sure, there are many modifications to that cover piece, and inside it’s not only got new content but the original content has its first quality printing, but from far away no one can tell. So I think I need to approach some of my artist friends and see if I can create some variant covers.

Pity I won’t have another convention to sell at until Micro-Con (and that’s assuming that a guy who sells one book gets invited back)! I suspect that promoting my book online may be my main source of sales for the foreseeable future.

Life officially sucks

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Jimmy Jams Comics here in Rochester is closing its doors next week.

I’ve just found out tonight, having missed the announcement earlier. (On top of everything else wrong with this, I’m very late to their storewide 50% off sale on trade paperbacks and I’ve missed a lot of goodies!)

This leaves me without a comic shop. Oh, their store in Winona an hour away will gladly ship my books free of charge once a month if I choose. I’m wondering whether I want to.

Frankly… at this point, I could probably be happy just buying the TPB collections of PS238 and having that be my total involvement with comic collecting. I don’t really enjoy the majority of books that DC puts out these days (the exceptions being Green Lantern Corps, Booster Gold and Birds of Prey). I’m not even buying the current Crisis book, which is kind of a stunning thing for me. A few months ago I realized that I have not truly enjoyed a single issue of the Justice League series since it was relaunched. I buy Justice League because I have an uninterrupted run going back to 1982. Aside from skipping the last year of Gerard Jones’ awful run, and then buying all of the issues from the cheap bin later on anyway, I have been a nonstop reader. But…it just isn’t a good book.

Hey, I’m 38, I’ve got a wife and a teenager to care for, and other things to occupy my time. It makes sense to move on from comics at some point, right? Except that…I still love comics if they’re done right, which is why I read PS238. I get a thrill from RE-reading the comics made in the 1980s and some of the 1990s. I could haul out the old Suicide Squad or L.E.G.I.O.N. or Giffen’s JLA and enjoy them just as I once did, and if those titles were being put out today I’d buy them. It’s probably why I’m loving Ambush Bug: Year None so much.

And I still would love to write comics, which means I can’t give up on READING comics, can I? I’m making one final go of Metro Med and hoping it goes somewhere.

I’ve got more to vent about the state of comics, but I just had to share what’s going on with me right now.

Metro Med Special Edition featured on IndyPlanet home page!

Friday, August 1st, 2008

There’s my book! Awesome.

Metro Med Special Edition #1 – NOW AVAILABLE!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Toldja there was a big announcement coming!

Metro Med Special Edition #1 is now available at IndyPlanet.

It’s 36 beautiful pages, with two Metro Med stories, pinups, character profiles, a new Annotations section, plus an all-new color 1-page story on the back cover. As a bonus, I included my out-of-print story “Melvin and Marvin Middler, Time Meddlers”.

In 2005, I published Metro Med #0 via my buddies at Shooting Star Comics. A thin volume selling for $2, this #0 issue was rushed to the printer in time to have it for Wizard World Chicago. Unfortunately, the quality of the printing was not what we would have liked and it ended up as our ashcan edition. (I’m still glad we published when we did, since afterward not only did someone else do a superhero hospital book but there was also another superhero using the same name as one of my characters. Thank God for ashcans!) Shortly afterward I lost my artist on the book, so it’s taken me a while to decide how to proceed. While I’m looking forward with some new artists, I decided it was time the first volume got a quality printing.

I didn’t tell you any of this because, until I saw it at Wizard World Chicago, I wasn’t sure how the printing would turn out. Yes, I was in the same “no proof” boat I was in back in 2005. However, the final result is stunning. I thought the quality of #0 was just disappointing, but once I saw the quality of this new one printed through Ka-Blam/IndyPlanet… well, I regret ever showing anyone the old one. THIS is how Metro Med was meant to be.

Well…at least until I can get it redone in color.

Take a look for yourself. IndyPlanet has a six-page preview.

Yes, I’ll be talking this up for a while.

My New Year’s Resolutions for Monitor Duty 2008

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
  • I will become more adept at scanning and editing images from my comic books and text from my books for articles
  • I will update my Image Archives and create a system for their sufficient and efficient use
  • I will improve the Chris Arndt homepage and make Apologies Demanded more accessible to new readers; I will actually make my Star Trek and Lost blogs viable reads
  • Convince enough Monitor Duty readers to charitably purchase comics from my get-rid-of-it box for more than they are worth so I can resolve my tax problem with the government
  • More product reviews
  • I will find ways to make the other Monitor Duty contributors redundant
  • I will do my multi-part takedown of “Legends”
  • I will do the same with “Star Trek Enterprise” and Michael Bay’s “Transformers”,
  • along with finishing that one article predicting why the new Superman movie would be bad (it was written and almost completed several months before the movie was released); it turned out to be ABSOLUTELY CORRECT ON ALL COUNTS.

Pulling for my buddies

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Kurt Belcher and Phil Neundorf, two gents I had the pleasure of working with on “Job Wanted“, are attempting to get a book published by Alterna Comics and they need your vote

All you have to do is post a comment and give them a star rating (the higher the better).  No registration is necessary and the comment process is simple.  They need to be in the top five vote-getters to advance, so please spread the word and tell your friends.

My Guest Column Over At CSBG

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

I did a guest column for Bill Reed’s “365 Reasons to Love Comics” over at Comics Should Be Good!

Here’s a link:


Thought Bubbles

New Christmas story from Neundorf

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Philipp Neundorf, illustrator of the “Gone To Texas” story in Job Wanted, has published a new Christmas story online. It’s in both English and German.

It was up before Christmas, but I didn’t read the e-mail announcing it until I returned from vacation, so my apologies for getting this link posted so late.

Remember, you can buy Job Wanted online for $5 (including shipping) via Paypal!

Want a free $6 comic?

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

Awright, here’s the deal…

All the rave reviews for our time traveling comedy story in SSCA #4 is making artist Phil Meadows and I a bit wistful about our first tale that ran in Job Wanted. We received our copies rather late, when there wasn’t a lot of time for sending out advance copies for reviewers. And of those reviewers, some of their addresses were wrong, or they got them late in the mail, or the address went to the person who runs the web site instead of the reviewer. (Augie de Blieck said he was looking forward to reviewing it…and then he didn’t get his copy! Bwaaaah!) Suffice to say, the number of reviews was meager.

For a while, we thought that Diamond was going to relist “Job Wanted”, since Shooting Star Comics relists their previous anthology whenever their next anthology debuts. This failed to come about because….and this is how stupid the system is…since we didn’t sell all that many copies the first time, they didn’t want to relist it. Since we were trying to sell a $6 book in the same month that every comic shop in the world has all their petty cash sunk into “JLA/Avengers #1”, you’d think they’d let us try again.

SO! …

If you’ll review the book now, you can get it for free.

I’ve got 1000 copies of this book left to sell, and now it’s exclusively sold over the Internet. Most reviewers review books the week they’re on the stands, but this is a one-shot so what does it really matter? I’m selling it for a buck less than the cover price and throwing in free shipping, plus I can sign it if you like, so this is BETTER than buying it in the store!

If you’re a reviewer, you can get a free copy of Job Wanted by e-mailing me. Give me your name, address and link me to an example of your reviews to prove you’re legit. If you review in print, just tell me where. I don’t care where you write, so long as you have a readership that’ll buy the comic. (Also, include whether you would like to be on review copy mailing lists, which I’ll save and forward to both Shooting Star Comics and Dimestore Productions. You’ll get more free comics, so long as you review them.)

All I ask is that agree to review the book and that you include a link to the site where they can buy it, regardless of whether your review is positive. If you can spare a few words for our story “Enigma In Outer Space“, that would be a bonus.

Everyone else: To help out a fellow American who’s down on his luck (a favorite line from 8 Ball Bunny), click over to Job Wanted and buy a copy now via Paypal (or e-mail me for alternative payment methods). I’ll have your book in the mail ASAP!

Reminder: Phil and I will be at WizardWorld in Chicago next week, so you can meet us and get a copy there, too. We’ll be at the Shooting Star Comics booth during specified signing times.

Another rave review for Time Meddlers

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

Shooting Star #4 got reviewed by Silver Bullet Comics’ Small Press department, and my story “Melvin and Marvin Middler, Time Meddlers” received another thumbs up. Exxxxxxcellent. (Hard to type when I’m steepling my fingers.)

Everyone loves SSCA #4. You haven’t bought yours yet? Grab it online!