Joshua Hale Fialkov

Purveyor of sheer awesomeness.

Joshua Hale Fialkov is the Harvey, Eisner, and Emmy Award nominated writer of graphic novels, animation, video games, film, and television, including:

THE LIFE AFTER, THE BUNKER, PUNKS, ELK'S RUN, TUMOR, ECHOES, KING, PACIFIC RIM, THE ULTIMATES, I, VAMPIRE, and JEFF STEINBERG CHAMPION OF EARTH. He's also written for NBC's CHICAGO MED and SYFY's upcoming INCORPORATED.

Filtering by Category: Creative

Jazz and the Failure of Exclusion

 Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

 Bix Biderbecke

Bix Biderbecke

I've been making my way through Ken Burns' Jazz documentary series.  There's an extended section about Bix Beiderbecke.  If you don't know, Bix was considered the 2nd best trumpeter who ever lived.  Second only to Louis Armstrong.  He was a Iowan farm boy who was inspired by Louis' recordings to teach himself and run away from home to become a jazz player.

In addition to his prodigious talents, he also had an epic drinking problem.  One that would eventually kill him.  But, before that, the documentary talks a bit about how hard a time Bix had because of segregation.  That because he was white, he couldn't go and play with the more advanced black players, and was constantly hitting a wall because he needed to be challenged, and he just wasn't by the white players of the day. 

It's such an interesting, backwards way to think about the race problems of the day, that I've been chewing over it for days.  That segregation hurts both sides that have been split apart.  That the sum is that much greater than the individual parts. The idea that that privilege is it's own sort of handcuffs is so rarely discussed.  And I get why, as the world's tiniest violins plays for the poor white people who couldn't be inspired, while the black people were oppressed, beaten, and pillaged by the dominant culture. 

But, still, I think the core idea is something worth discussing.  That this kid who was handed the world realized that without the best of the best available to him, then the world he'd been handed was a lead balloon.  That by ex-communicating a group of people, you're really ex-communicating yourself. 

The close-mindedness of our era, the us against them mentality that rules politics, and, especially, the inability to have a conversation with someone who's different from you, and not just in terms of race, but in as simple as semantics of ideas.  Without being able to open ourselves up to the other side of the world, to see the brilliance and joy, as well as the outrage and the anger, we're doomed as a society.  We'll constantly stand on the brink of our potential and always fall short.

The story goes that for one night, Louis and Bix met in a hotel room, closed the door, and played together.  The two men driving each other to be better, creating and destroying expectations simultaneously.  It was, by some accounts, the highlight of Bix's life. But, because society was too involved to see the brilliance that could be made from love and acceptance, it's just a story lost to time, instead of an album for the ages. 

Open yourself to the world around you.  Experience things from every side, and put it into your work, make it your motivation.  Or, in other words, love everyone. 

FYI, here's the best jazz song ever recorded. 

 

If you HAVEN'T seen KEN BURNS' JAZZ, do yourself a favor.  It streams for free on Netflix and Amazon, or, the boxset is linked below.  It's my favorite Ken Burns film, and it'll change how you think about America, Music, and, perhaps most importantly, American Music. 


New eBook Available for Download!

Hey gang,We're still waiting on Amazon to post up the third chapter of Tumor, but, in the meantime, I wanted to direct you to a brand new short story by yours truly for Kindle and the iPhone/iPod Touch Kindle App. It's called Belly Button Reset, and I'm very proud of it. It's sort of a Vonnegut-y sci-fi romance drama thing, and it's only a buck, so, why not? You can purchase it here: http://tinyurl.com/ltxpmm

But, what's that? You don't have a Kindle or iPhone? Well, you're in luck. You can check out a non-Kindle version over here at http://feedbooks.com/userbook/7446

But, I do ask that if you download it over on Feedbooks, PLEASE, post a brief review over on the site or over on Amazon. Reviews get people to try books out, especially with low price points, so it'd be a huge help.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the story!

j. www.thefialkov.com

Fialkov on Kindle and Comic-Con

Hey hey hey,Today marks the announcement of my new graphic novel with Elk's Run artist Noel Tuazon, and that it's going to available primarily on the Amazon Kindle (and Kindle App for iPhone and iPod Touch)! We're the first original graphic novel to appear on the device, and we could not be more thrilled. For more info on that you can visit http://www.tumorthecomic.com or read the article about the deal at http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6671789.html?q=fialkov

Later this week, I'll be rolling into Comic-Con to promote Tumor, and I'd love for y'all to stop by. I'll be at the Archaia Comics booth for most of the weekend, and we'll be selling a $3 limited edition ashcan of the first chapter of Tumor. They're hand numbered, and quite handsome.

That's at booth 2635. My schedule is as follows:

Wed. July 22nd 7:00 - 8:00 pm Signing at the Top Cow Booth

Thurs. July 23rd 9:00 - 11:00 am Signing at Archaia Booth 12:00 - 1:00 pm Signing at the Top Cow Booth 2:00 - 3:00 pm Signing at the Archaia Booth

Fri. July 24th 9:00 - 11:00 am Signing at Archaia Booth 2:00 - 3:00 pm Signing at the Top Cow Booth 6:00 - 7:00 pm Signing at the Archaia Booth

Sat. July 25th 9:00 - 11:00 am Signing at Archaia Booth 11:00 - 12:00 pm Signing at the Top Cow Booth 5:30 - 6:30 pm Archaia Panel (TUMOR!) Room 5AB

Sun. July 26th 9:00 - 10:00 am Signing at Archaia Booth 1:00 - 3:00 pm Signing at the Archaia Booth

See you all at the show!

Writing with Confidence

So, this has more to do with me saying my own thoughts out loud (in public) than being of any practical use to anybody other than me. I've been writing professionally for coming on 8 years. It's been my primary means of support for about four of those years. In all of that time, the thing that tends to bog me down, get in the way of trying new things, and generally stand in my way is mostly me. I've had some bad experiences. Everything from writing partners who treat me as a junior member to writing partners who barely bother to wake up, to those around me belittling what I know I'm here to do. But, I've also had unprecedented support. From my friends, my wife, my agent, my peers, and my fans. Hell, the devotion and support my wife shows me in every ridiculous endeavor I throw myself into would be more than enough for me, but, to have all of you great people standing there cheering me makes even the hardest day worth while. So, the good sort of cancels out the bad (no matter how much I like to bitch about the bad... c'mon, everybody loves a good story about a douchebag!)

But still, with all of that, the one thing I constantly have to fight, is my own confidence. Knowing that I do know what I'm doing, and that I can do what I do well. Last year was a tough year for me creatively, despite the huge amount of output I had. Some of the problems with the work was my fault, some was due to outside forces. But every single one should've been combated with the fact that about my work, and what I'm trying to do, I'm the expert. Nobody knows how to do what I do better than me.

I don't mean that in a broad, "I'm the greatest writer ever" sense. I mean that I'm the greatest writer who is me ever. Despite the poor sentence construction of that last sentence. What I do isn't for everybody, and, judging by the sales on some of my creator owned work in the past, it may in fact be for nobody. But, I can be remarkably proud of just about everything I've ever done.

I've rid myself of many of the toxic people and situations that polluted a lot of my work last year, and, for the past few weeks have been working only on my own work. Virtually no work for hire. Just my new graphic novel with Noel, my young adult fantasy novel, and a few pitches for projects that I desperately love. I've put on hold a few things that I'm excited about, but have less of a handle on to focus on the three or four things that make me deliriously happy at the thought of them happening.

With the graphic novel's new publisher doing some amazing prep work, some genuine passion from a few Hollywood folk on the novel, and everybody rooting for me on each of the projects I'm working on, I finally feel like I'm getting my shot to do what I was meant to do.

And, for a change, I'm considerably less worried about blowing it.

FLASH FICTION: To whomever it may concern in regards to Mr. Jefferson Clement Walker,

To whomever it may concern in regards to Mr. Jefferson Clement Walker, He keeps a dog-eared copy of Dorian Gray on his shelf by his desk. He tells people it's the same one he's had since high school, but that's just another of his lies. Like the abuse, the affairs, the Hollywood stories, hell, even his own name. The only true thing that he's said the whole time I've known him was that when he set foot in Los Angeles for the first time ten years ago, he knew that he'd never go 'home' again.

Los Angeles is a place to be born again, to change your life, and redefine your history. All he bothered to change was his name. The man lived here as he lived there. Except that now he would tell bigger stories, unprovable due to distance and, frankly, he delivered it all with such panache that there was rarely a person who doubted his twisty turny stories. Besides, isn't it better to know the guy who beat up six guys before being jumped by the carnies at the Tulahuset State Fair? Isn't it better to know the guy who fucked the girl who went on to be the star of the show your girlfriend makes you watch every Wednesday night?

No, Los Angeles allowed him to be who he always wanted to be. The tortured, tormented, zit covered, tiny-dicked jerkoff he was back home was erased in favor of a 'rough and tumble smartass know-it-all of arcane acerbity', as he often would refer to himself. And we all fell for it hook line and sinker. When an old friend told us he fucked him out of a thousand dollars, we figure, maybe that friend is just a bit sketchy. When word came back that he may have tried to fuck your girlfriend, it must've been the other way around. Pulling him off of some random stranger after a night of drinking becomes just a funny story. Taking phone calls at all hours as he 'plans his next move,' be it career or stickup related, was just part of his charm. Begging for a couple hundred to pay off 'the guys' he's been playing poker with for four nights is just the price of friendship.

Until one's usefulness has been worn out.

Then, there's no place colder than his empty stare. No theft, be it literal or figurative, is out of the question, and every minute in his company makes you into a walking, talking, breathing target for his rage, self-loathing, and, most of all, his fickle sense of humor. For years, we'd watch him alienate those around him one by one. I'd say 'those that he loved', but, a man like that, he was incapable of love. He was incapable of anything other than the selfish thoughts and instinctual moment to moment chemical explosions in his brain pan. Each of us laughed as he turned his razor tongue on another innocent soul, knowing somewhere in our minds that we may be next.

But I never thought he could do what you good people think he did. I know for a fact that he could never have done what the people on the news and in the paper and in the court room all said he'd done. But, when you stop and think about it, sure, he probably stole the forty grand, why not? It was only money to him. And, then, well sure, he could've been freaked out, grabbed a gun (hell, he was the kind of guy who casually told you about the 9mm stashed behind a bottle of Cutty Sark that he used to get out aggression by shooting the rats and cats and bats and whatever other rhyming four letter furred creatures entered his back yard), and sure, maybe in the heat of the moment, a shot got squeezed off, and that shot went through the throat of the guy who was running the card game. That shit happens, and I could see how it could go wrong.

But the little girl. No. Even him, he couldn't do it, not the way they say he did.

I've known him since he moved here. I ain't saying I know him any better than anybody else, and, in fact, I doubt any of us even know him at all. I've seen him do awful things, but, truth be told, every once in a while, I've seen him do something halfway decent.

I wish I could be there today to speak on his behalf, but, the last time we talked he told me he wanted me dead, and he'd do it his-own-damnself if he ever set his eyes on me again. I like to think it was probably just him talking tough, but, I figured best not chance it.

Some people have trouble doing the right thing. I wrote this letter, in spite of all that went on, because I like to think I ain't one of them.

Allen Gilbert Douglas California State Penitentiary

P.S. For what it's worth, I might not of done what he said I done, but I surely deserved to be sent here. -- Joshua Hale Fialkov Los Angeles, CA 3-9-09

Nominate LG15 for a "Streamy Award"

Go on and get your vote on here: http://www.streamys.org/nominate.shtml And here's who/what/how you could place your vote, if you, y'know, want to.

Nominate Your Favorite LG15 Shows, Cast, and Crew

NewTeeVee, Tilzytv, and Tubefilter have joined together to host The Streamy Awards, which celebrates and honors excellence in web television. Please nominate all of your favorite LG15 shows, cast, and crew for The Streamy Awards.

LG15: The Resistance:

Best Dramatic Web Series

Best Directing for a Web Series - Yusuf Pirhasan

Best Writing for a Web Series - Joshua Hale Fialkov and Jim Campolongo

Best Male Actor in a Dramatic Web Series - Jackson Davis, Brett Ryback

Best Female Actor in a Dramatic Web Series - Alexandra Dreyfus, Marnette Patterson

Best Ensemble Cast in a Web Series - Jackson Davis, Alexandra Dreyfus, Marnette Patterson, and Brett Ryback

Best Editing - Jerry Pyle, Chris Ryder

Happy Holidays

Hey gang,It's been a nice relaxing couple of weeks since wrapping things up on LG15. I've gotten to catch up on the past six months worth of movies, finish up some projects that had been anxiously awaiting my attention, and spend some quality time with the wife.

I've got some really cool stuff on tap for 2009, most of which I can't talk about yet, but, I do promise you'll get to see much more comics work from me than you did in 2008 (which, considering the sheer amount of stuff that came out this year seems like a big challenge.)

So, thank you for your kindness, support, love, and proselytizing for the church of Josh.

Happy Holidays,

j. www.thefialkov.com

Things Learned in 2008

Not particularly sage advice that has struck me on this December evening... Closed doors and locked doors are two different things. One you can always go back and reopen, the other requires a small piece of metal.

Working with amazing people teaches you infinitely more than working with the average.

Applause for a job well done is nice. Knowing you did a good job is better.

Find the things, people, places, jobs, etc you love, and do them. Everything else is a waste of time.

Technology is amazing. Technology is a huge pain in the ass.

Life is considerably easier with an amazing woman standing at your side.

The only way to learn is by doing. The only way to do... well that would be to actually do it.

Mistakes are worth making if you can actually recognize them and attempt to fix them.

There's nothing more valuable than talented people.

When you have faith in people nine times out of ten they won't disappoint you. That tenth time is probably worth suffering through.

The Penultimate LG15: The Resistance!

Hey gang,This week marks the final regular week of LG15: The Resistance. It's all building up to our huge finale next week Friday. Our finale is what is known as a 12in12. Twelve videos in twelve hours. I'm extremely proud of the work we've been doing, and I really hope you guys take some time and check it out.

As always, you can watch the episodes at www.lg15.com, on the front page of www.thefialkov.com, or any of the other great sites that carry it, including hulu.com, veoh.com, myspace.com, and imeem.com.

I'm buried in post-production, so that's all I got right now. See you in a few days.

The Cleaners and Boston, Ho!

Hey gang,Long time no weekly update. In the weeks in between, I'm sure you've all been checking out the weekly episodes of The Resistance at lg15.com. If not, you can get caught up extra easy on the front page of www.thefialkov.com.

As part of the show, we're heading to Boston at the end of next week. Anybody who's in town who wants to meet up, or take part in our live event should drop me a line, and I'll get you some more info.

And finally, in stores this week, the comics debut of screenwriting wunderkin, Fialkov wedding best man, and all around good guy Mark Wheaton (ably supported by yours truly) in The Cleaners from Dark Horse Comics. It'll be at your local retailer this wedneday, or, you can order (and preview) the first issue at this link: http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/15-214/The-Cleaners-1

So, that's it. Hope all of y'all are doing well, and, looking forward to catching up with any of y'all in my old stomping grounds.

See you next week,

j.

MTV talks to Fialkov -- Huzzah!

Splash Page » For Josh Fialkov, There’s No Resisting Lonelygirl NowJosh Fialkov is lonely no more – after working in near-solitary conditions on comics such as “Elk’s Run,” “Punks,” and the upcoming “Cleaners,” he’s taken an office job, as head writer for a new lonelygirl15 spinoff called “LG15: The Resistance”.

You see, lonelygirl15 didn’t really end in August – as one of the most popular and longest running online interactive dramas, the story that was alluded to in the first round of episodes is just beginning in the second. “People assume it’s still Bree in her bedroom,” Fialkov said. “But the universe we’ve created is so much more than that.”

The Resistance EP 2, Word Balloon, io9.com, and more...

Hey gang,Just a quick note to let you know that Episode 2 is up on http://www.lg15.com as well as on http://www.hulu.com. It should also be up on imeem.com, dailymotion.com, and myspace.com shortly. I LOVE this episode, and can't wait for y'all to check it out.

For those interested, I'm the guest on this week's Word Balloon podcast. I talk about The Cleaners, Afro Samurai, Vampirella, Cyblade, and just about everything I've ever worked on. There's also a big ol' chunk on LG15, so, please swing by http://www.wordballoon.com and check it out.

There's also a feature length interview with me up on Sci-Fi website i09.com. Read that here: http://io9.com/5055465/lonelygirls-resistance-isnt-futile-explains-lg15s-fialkov

And, for those old school Fialkov fans, I just uploaded all of the Poorly Drawn Animals Animated Adventures to youtube. You can watch those here: http://www.youtube.com/user/joshfialkov

And, that's all the news that's fit to print or some such nonsense.

Thanks for all the love and support, and I hope you're enjoying the shows as much as we are making 'em.

Fialkov Writes LG15!

Heya,So, that big project I've been working on? It's finally been announced! Here's the scoop:

-- Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 27, 2008 -- EQAL, the social entertainment company founded by the creators of lonelygirl15, today announced details of the next online serial drama in the LG15 universe, titled "LG15: The Resistance." The new US-based series will share the mythology behind the previous series "lonelygirl15" and UK-based "KateModern."

Beginning with its online premiere on Saturday, Sept. 20, season one of "LG15: The Resistance" will run for 12 weeks. Daily posts by the characters on LG15.com will consist of short videos and other multi-media content such as text blogs and photos, concluding with a weekly episode posted every Saturday that will include all of the week's dramatic developments. An exclusive sneak preview of the first episode of the new series will be shown at the New York Television Festival Digital Day at 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 16.

With 'LG15: The Resistance,' we are taking social entertainment to the next level. By incorporating the lessons learned about writing for the Internet and audience interaction from our experience with 'lonelygirl15' and 'KateModern,' 'LG15: The Resistance' is poised to be the most engaging experience in online drama to date News Image

In order to allow the audience to better engage with the new show and interact with each other, EQAL also announced plans to completely redesign the LG15.com website and provide its devoted community with new and expanded social features. Audience participation and interactivity throughout the series will be essential to advancing the plot, with the community called upon to make suggestions and solve puzzles for the on-screen characters. The enhanced site will allow fans to do that through the creation their own profile pages and participation in live chats with characters from the show. Other community features include discussion forums, comment boards, character blogs, groups, and more. Future enhancements will add photo and video sharing to the LG15.com social network.

In addition to the new LG15.com, video episodes from the first season of "LG15: The Resistance" will be available on popular social networks and online video sharing sites including MySpaceTV, imeem, Veoh, YouTube™ and Hulu. As the season progresses, all video content, including daily video and weekly show episodes, will premiere jointly on LG15.com and LG15 branded video profile pages on the various partner properties. Customized promotions with each partner will vary, but will involve feature homepage placement over the course of the season to drive traffic and entice new fans.

"With 'LG15: The Resistance,' we are taking social entertainment to the next level. By incorporating the lessons learned about writing for the Internet and audience interaction from our experience with 'lonelygirl15' and 'KateModern,' 'LG15: The Resistance' is poised to be the most engaging experience in online drama to date," said Miles Beckett, CEO, EQAL. "We're all but exploding the wall between creators and viewers, letting fans contribute directly to the unfolding narrative in a way never before attempted in scripted entertainment."

The story told in "LG15: The Resistance" will continue to operate in the LG15 universe with its shared mythology and select overlapping characters from lonelygirl15, including leading characters "Jonas," played by Jackson Davis, and "Sarah" played by Alexandra Dreyfus. As with the previous series, "LG15: The Resistance" will revolve around The Order, an evil secret society that has discovered the existence of very rare girls that carry a special blood trait. The Resistance is now the only hope in battling The Order, but they must overcome great obstacles to do so. The new series will combine action, romance and intrigue in the spirit of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "National Treasure." While this back-story will be familiar to long-time fans, "LG15: The Resistance" has been developed to ensure the plot will be extremely accessible to new fans as well. "LG15: The Resistance" is executive produced by Miles Beckett, Greg Goodfried and Amanda Goodfried, the producers of lonelygirl15 and KateModern. Joshua Fialkov, creator of the graphic novels "Elks Run" and "Punks," joins as head writer.

"EQAL has pioneered some of the most successful serial dramas in the Internet age, and we're confident they've got another hit in store with, 'LG15: The Resistance.' We're thrilled to bring their ground-breaking new show to over 27 million users on imeem and equally excited to have LG15 fans connecting around imeem music and video playlists," said Jeff Reine, director of business development at imeem.

As with the previous series, brand sponsors will be tightly integrated into "LG15: The Resistance" and seamlessly woven throughout the narrative. EQAL is currently seeking brands that are interested in new forms of product placement and cutting edge interactivity on the Internet.

For a preview of "LG15: The Resistance," see the trailer: http://www.lg15.com/lonelygirl15/?p=675.

About EQAL: EQAL (pronounced "Equal") is a social entertainment company dedicated to changing the way content is consumed. Merging technology with creative development and production expertise, EQAL is a leader in the creation of truly interactive shows. Formerly known as LG15 Studios/Telegraph Ave. Productions, the company recently concluded the runs of the two most successful online interactive dramas, lonelygirl15 and KateModern, which had over 150 million combined views. Through partnerships with independent producers, traditional media companies, and multi-national brands, EQAL is dedicated to building online communities that engage users like never before. The company recently signed a first-of-its-kind partnership with CBS to create and produce multi-platform television, online and mobile entertainment for existing and future CBS television productions. EQAL is headquartered in Los Angeles. For more information: http://www.eqal.com. --

So, you can follow along, and learn more over at http://www.lg15.com.

I'm totally and utterly psyched to be working on the show, and it's going to be a-mazing.

More to come,

j.

Beginnings, Endings, Continuings

What a week. Tomorrow morning I start that new job I talked about a few weeks back. This is a full-time, well paid writing job, not in comics, wherein I get an opportunity to create content, lead a crew of other guys, and make some cool shit that a hundred thousand people or more will see. Coming from comics where a comic selling 10k is a big deal, it's... humbling.

You may notice I'm writing this at about 3 am. I've always had nerves before the big day. And tomorrow, I'm coming to realize, is a big day. One phase of my career is complete, and now, I move on to step two. Which doesn't mean I'm leaving comics. Far from it. In fact, I have more comic work lined up in the next few months, and more projects on the immediate horizon than I've ever had.

The thing is that this job represents a moment of validation for me. It came about because of a bunch of different reasons, most of them because of the weird job experience I have. It's rare that you find a company who can look at a resume as weird as mine (Alternative Rock DJ at age 14, Record Store counter jockey at 19, theater and film major with a low budget feature at 20, Production Coordinator on a slew of reality tv shows at 22, Comics Publisher at 24, Freelance Comic Writing Guy at 26...) and say "Well, shit, you've got a crazy amount of experience doing these crazy things and you'd be fucking great for this."

As we wander through life, it's ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies... they can seem like chaos... a meaningless storm of 'things.' To be able look back at all of it... from broken hearts to hard-fought victories, and realize that not only was it all worth it, but, you wouldn't do a damn thing differently... That's simply an amazing feeling.

I have more in my life to be grateful for than any guy should have. A beautiful, charming, genius, and sexy wife; a thriving, satisfying career, wherein I'm beyond proud of each and every project I've worked on; and an amazing group of people who provide nothing but love, faith, and support (both business-wise, and personal-like).

So, the next few months are going to be a radical departure from my life of the past few years. And yes, I'm nervously typing rather than sleeping. But those nerves? That fear? It's imbued with hope, excitement, and the knowledge that things are going to keep getting better.

To tomorrow, which is to say today, and yesterday which is forever.