Sorry for the long absence–I’ve had a tough couple of months. But I’m back and, while not better than ever, I’m at least better than never.

Progress has continued on my Dunwich Horror screenplay, primarily because it has to (I’m writing it for a class). Fortunately, it seems to be going fairly well–I’m not getting bogged down anywhere, and I think I’m finally getting a good grip on the characters.

The big news is that I’ve changed my graduate thesis plans. Instead of writing Tales of Atreval, a collection of linked short stories, I’m going to write the first Jon Shade novel. I made this decision for two reasons. The first is pure self-interest; novels are easier to sell than collections of short stories, particularly for new writers. The second reason is, I recently read Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and The Dain Curse (as well as re-reading The Maltese Falcon), and those books reminded me that I grew up on novels rather than short stories, and when I write, I have a tendency–or used to, anyway–to write longer works.

In other news, I finally got out to the theater to see a movie–Sin City. I’d read the first graphic novel (which matches the first story in the film, the one featuring Mickey Rourke as Marv). I enjoyed it, though by the third story, it all was getting a bit tiresome and repetitive. It’s a beautiful film and is probably as close as one can get to an image-to-image cinematic translation of a comic without resorting to animation; but it’s so faithful, it shook my long-held preference for uber-faithful movie adaptations of literary works.

As one reviewer wrote (I think it was in Newsweek), if adaptation is good enough for Jane Austen, it should be good enough for Frank Miller. I’m a big fan of both the Hellboy comics and the film version, but the film is its own entity, and both versions have their strengths and weaknesses. The same goes for the Lord of the Rings films; to say the film is better than the book, or vice-versa, is an apples-and-oranges comparison. I’m not sure the same could be said of Sin City.

Still, I recommend it. The second story, which stars Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro, is particularly interesting. Visually, the movie is stunning, and I expect it will be fairly influential.

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