Friday, May 24, 2013

Interview with J. Michael Straczynski

J. Michael Straczynski is a man of many firsts. Back when the Internet was unknown to everyone except a tiny number of techies, geeks, wealthy dilettantes and nerds, he was the first showrunner (Hollywood-speak for a television show’s executive producer who handles day-to-day operations) to go online and interact with fans.

He was the first – and will likely ever be the only — scriptwriter to write 92 out of 110 episodes of a show, his brilliant creation “Babylon 5.” B5 was the first television show meant to run a certain number of seasons, five, with a definite beginning, middle, and end, and included dynamic storylines the characters and multiple, overlapping story arcs. Long form television writing is now common thanks to Straczynski.  He did it first.

He is probably the first journalist to cross over into a successful television career, likely the first journalist and television writer to cross over into mainstream comic book writing, and absolutely the first television and comic-writing journalist ever to become a major Hollywood screenwriter.

Other “firsts” include developing his own comic book line (Joe’s Comics), his own multimedia studio (Studio JMS), directing his first movie and creating an original series for Netflix.

The word “first” applies to Straczynski in many ways, including as a fiery, intelligent defender of the First Amendment.

From 2009 to 2010, students, faculty members, Sun journalists, and concerned citizens fought with a corrupt Southwestern College administration and governing board to keep the First Amendment Freedoms of Speech, Assembly, and the Press alive on the campus. In 2010, when the administration attempted to strangle the newspaper by tying its purse strings around its throat, Straczynski responded by undermining the administration the best way possible – financially.

It was definitely the first time that had happened.

And now, for the first time, an unbridled, warp speed first person Q&A interview with the 2013 Southwestern College Honorary Degree recipient:



First Amendment Warrior

In September 2010 Straczynski personally funded an issue of The Sun after former superintendent Raj Chopra and his vice presidents attempted to block publication. The issue broke the story of construction contract corruption involving college board members and administrators.

Sun: In the fall of 2010, the Chopra administration dug up a never-used print bidding policy to force the Southwestern College Sun to prevent printing a controversial issue. You stepped in and paid for the entire issue. Why did you feel this was necessary?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Scholarship Awarded from Worthy Organization


I just wanted to announce that I've received a scholarship award from San Diego Association of Black Journalists. This is one of the city's most worthy journalism organizations, and I'm proud to have won. But I have to say, the fact that my colleague from the Southwestern College Sun, Alexis Meza, has also been awarded one.

Alexis is a Sun sportswriter who has been chasing down a vast number of recruiting violations among the SWC basketball team. Pop over to the Sun website to check out a little of his work.

We'll be awarded scholarships on April 19 at a scholarship reception hosted by SDABJ at National University.

If you want tickets, all the contact information is on the fly

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Melbourn's Storm" Is In Print!

LORE volume 2, number 2
My short story, "Melbourn's Storm," is now in print, in the periodical LORE, volume 2, number 2. If you are looking for a little dark reading, check out the book -- now on sale at the LORE website and on Amazon.com

...and in case you do pick up a copy of the book, or you already have, how about stopping by Amazon to do a real, honest review? Nothing will do a publisher better good than a good review or two.

(And need I point out to the morally sound readers of this blog not to write a bogus one? I thought not.)

Twelve great tales inhabit these pages:

"Enshrined" - Bridget Coila

"Finny Moon" - Keith P. Graham

"Congregate" - Steve Rasnic Tem

"One in a Billion" - Colin Heintze

"Asylum" - Stephen Mark Rainey

"The House of Dreams" - Nyki Blatchley

"Electric Souls on a Starless Planet" - J.P. Boyd

"Lost in Darkness" - Jeremy Harper

"Melbourn's Storm" - Nickolas Furr

"Can Spring Be Far Behind?" - Jeff Samson

"Tumor is the Night" - Corey Mariani

"Nzambe" - Denise Dumars

Plus an awesome cover by Christopher Allen!


So if you get a chance, pick it up. If you can, write a review. If you can't, let me know what you think. All y'all readers who have stuck with me know how much I treasure your feedback. Thank you!