A Stroke of Luck!

•November 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

For the past decade, I have been convinced that breaking all of those silly internet chain letters from my high school days has been responsible for my bad luck. It had gotten to the point that no matter how good the odds seemed in my favor I just didn’t expect things to go my way, and they never did. Then, this year my luck seemed to change. I was doing pretty well in life but in the back of my mind I was expecting the universe to bitch slap me back into hopelessness.

Of course that didn’t happen. Quite the opposite in fact; my luck actually got better. Leading up to Wizard World Chicago, Canadian artist Stephen Burger hosted a giveaway for his graphic novel Talk on Twitter. I entered for the hell of it but what do you know?I ended up winning, and as fate would have it, he was actually coming to Wizard World Chicago that week and wanted me to meet him there to get my prize. In my mind, whatever streak of good luck I was having had to have ended with that.

Boy, was I wrong.

Two months later, while watching one of my favorite television shows, SyFy’s Fangasm, I learned that they too were having a twitter giveaway. The winner would win a trip to Stan Lee’s Comikaze in Los Angeles for themselves and a guest, complete with travel and hotel accommodations. According to the official rules, the estimated value of the trip was $4,500. I quickly entered, more so out of habit than hope. I really, really wanted to win but the universe wouldn’t be that generous to me I thought. Especially after having already won a giveaway, also through Twitter, only a few short months ago.

October 17th, 2013. I’ve just dropped my mother and grandmother off for a doctor’s appointment. I’m driving through the heart of downtown Chicago, tired and annoyed when my phone goes off. As unlikely as it was, as impossible as it seemed, I fucking won. My phone immediately falls from my hand and I proceeded to scream my lungs out. Thank god I was alone. I called everyone I could and told them. Eventually deciding to take my close friend and Khaos Factory partner, Andrew with me. I spent the next few weeks in a state of euphoria. It still didn’t seem real to me. Every time the thought of winning the trip crossed my mind, I grin crept across my face and I felt as if I was floating. I don’t think it actually hit me until after I got back from L.A. I was just randomly thinking back on everything when I got overwhelmed by joy. I had to stop myself from bursting into tears.

I’ll make another post later on this week about our trip to L.A. for Comikaze. Be on the lookout for it!

IMG_20131017_133259

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2013

•September 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I know I’m a tad late but I finally got some time to post my Wizard World Chicago 2013 pics. Despite my being a geek for pretty much my entire life, I’m ashamed to say that I had never been to a con before this year. I went to my first con, C2E2 earlier this year and immediately fell in love with conventions. I literally ordered my Wizard World tickets the next day lol. Next year, I’ll be hitting the convention scene pretty hard, with a goal to attend at least five, including San Diego Comic-Con (shits expensive so my broke ass might need some donations…or a sugar mama). Anyway, enough talk. Let’s get to the pics! Oh, one more thing. My friends are selfish bastards and made me the “designated cameraman” for the day, so I’m not in any of my own damn pictures. *growls* *angryface*

P.S. The pics are showing up cropped for width or resized when I post them and I can’t figure out how to change this so just click on a picture to see it in its full size.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

How It All Started

•July 15, 2013 • 1 Comment

Anyone who actually knows me or has read the about section of this blog should know that I’m a pretty big geek. It was actually my geekdom that got me on the path to writing in the first place. I’ve always had aspirations of creating comic books but always as an artist first. In elementary school I probably sketched more than I actually did homework and I was determined to keep getting better with the pencil. Going into high school, I informed my counselor of my decision to become an artist and she laid out a schedule for me that involved taking a plethora of art classes during my 4 year stay there.

 

However, it was during these art classes that I discovered a sad truth. I was not as talented as I thought I was. Many of my peers in these art classes were much more talented than me and often left me feeling self conscious about my own work as it paled in comparison. It was also around this time that I discovered the wonderful world of play-by-post role playing games based on many of the shows, movies, comics, and games I was interested in. At the time, I thought of this as nothing more than a hobby. But the more I got into, the more forums I joined, many of which called for increased writing skills.

 

It wasn’t until my sophmore year that I discovered that I had actually developed a gift for writing. After completing a short story assignment for my english lit class, my teacher pulled me aside after class to tell me how much he liked my story and that I had a special talent for prose that I should pursue. I took a few creative writing classes afterwards, which strengthened my desire to write. I went into my senior year with a clear goal in mind for my future; to become a writer.

There was only one thing left to decide now; where should I go to college? My first choice (which had nothing to do with writing) had always been the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or U of I for short. I made sure I applied early and that my essay was top notch. The only thing that worried me was that I slacked off most of my time in high school so I only had a 2.5 GPA. And despite my high ACT scores, my GPA ended up being my downfall, as I wasn’t accepted. At that point, I had to start scrambling. I was almost a full semester in my senior year and I was so sure I would be accepted to U of I that I didn’t apply to any other schools. That was when a good friend of mine told me to checkout Columbia College Chicago. I researched their Fiction Writing program and knew this was the school for me. My friend and I decided to attend the open house, where we toured the campus and got to learn more about the program. I was BLOWN AWAY! The rest, as they say, is history.

Quick Update

•June 4, 2013 • 1 Comment

Hey guys! Sorry its been so long since I’ve updated this thing. Just want to give a quick update as to what’s been going on in my life and why I haven’t made a post in so long. I went through a bit of a rough period where things weren’t going so well for me and I pretty much stopped writing completely for a while.

 

Fortunately, this period didn’t last too long. Things have gotten a lot better for me the past few months. I’ve been doing a lot of reading(both prose and comics) which has gotten my creative juices flowing again. I’m in the early stages of development on a new comic series and I’m also working on my first screenplay. Oh, and how could I forget that I FINALLY attended my first con this past April at C2E2! I’ll definitely be going to a lot more of these, maybe even as a creator once these projects start seeing the light of day.

I’ll be checking in a lot more often now so stay tuned!

Guess Who’s Back?!

•August 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Finally! The Rock has COME BACK to Khaotic Expression! :-) Haha. I’d like to start this post off by apologizing to any and everyone that checked out my blog for my inactivity. It’s been a little over a year since I last put up an entry. I know in a previous post I said I’d start updating this thing about 2-3 times a week and then I just fell off the grid. Unfortunately, life kicked my plans/schedule into oblivion but here I am now and hopefully I’m here to stay.

This past year has been a roller coaster ride and while I won’t give you the full rundown of events, I will let you know of some cool, major stuff pertaining to my career and this site.

In September of 2011, a friend (and talented artist as well) and I were collaborating on some projects and bouncing ideas off of each other when something amazing happened. We decided we would join forces and start a collective/organization/entertainment studio with the sole purpose of helping each other and other up and coming creators to produce fantastic work and present it to the world. Thus, The Khaos Factory was born!

The biggest news so far is that the first ever Khaos Factory comic, Santapocalypse is now in production! I finished the script a few weeks ago and Andrew is busy working on the art. We’ll most likely be releasing it digitally with a limited print run following that. More details to come!

Welcome to The Khaos Factory!

What would you do with a million dollars?

•August 4, 2011 • 1 Comment

I came across this question quite randomly this afternoon. I was on Facebook, checking up on a few friends when all of a sudden this question popped into my head. If I was to somehow become blessed with a million dollars what would I do with it? How would I spend it? Would I save it? Or go on a luxury shopping spree?

The interesting thing about this is that there’s a plethora of possibilities and no one person will have the exact same answer. In my opinion there is no right or wrong way to spend your money. Since it’s YOUR money only YOU can judge whether you’re making a good or bad decision on what to spend it on. However, there are plenty of cases in which large sums of money have gone completely down the drain due to “questionable” spending decisions.

Now on to my answer. If I was to somehow end up with a million dollars to spend however I see fit my main goal with it would be to invest. There are many different meanings to the word and in my case I would like to invest in several things, mainly the future. Not only mine but for those closest to me as well; family, friends, and friends of the family. I know a lot of talented, creative people who have great material in a number of different media. I’d spend however much money is necessary in creating a company and brand where we can all showcase our talents, whether it be publishing, music, comedy, fashion, you name it. We’d all have the means to make money doing what we’re gifted and passionate about.

Second, I would start a college fund to pay for any friend or family member’s education if they needed it. If the company becomes successful enough I’ll expand the fund to not only help those I know but others around the world less privileged than I who need help funding their education and furthering their goals. I’d probably put maybe $50-$100 thousand dollars aside for any bill and debt assistance my companions needed. No one likes to struggle and if I have the means I’d make sure everybody I knew never would again.

Now I know some of you are wondering why I didn’t mention anything about buying a house or a new car or things of that nature. Simply put, I’m not a flashy guy. I don’t believe just that because you have money you have to spend it. I’m not saying I wouldn’t buy new things just that I’d make sure I was buying them because I NEED them not because I WANT them. Greed is an ugly thing and unless it is concerning food (Yeah I like to eat, so what?) you won’t find a greedy inch on my body.

That’s pretty much it for me right there. Just looking those things over I’d probably still have a nice sum of money left over which I’d just put away in a savings account until I needed it. Now to you guys.

What would YOU do with a million dollars?

What do you think about how I would chose to spend my million?

Would you spend it on material things or use it to better the world?

Things That Go BUMP In the Night

•July 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A hard breathing labored through the darkened and semi-metallic walls of a building that, according to the government, didn’t exist at all. It was stranded in the middle of nowhere for experiments too fanatical and unforgivable to ever allow anyone to know the experiments even took place at all. One such experiment had gotten out of control and with another stroke of brilliance from this government; the entire lab was sealed up so that the families and scientists on the grounds could not escape. It would cost them their lives, but wasn’t keeping dirty blemishes like this off your country’s record merely another way to serve it?

The last survivor of this terrible accident was currently running with sharp heels clicking in rapid succession as she attempted to escape the inevitable. Her arms swung back and forth in an inexperienced way, showing she obviously didn’t do much running. Her speed wasn’t helped much by the restraining lab coat she wore, or her skirt, or her heels. Evidently, she hadn’t been planning on running for her life today.

She couldn’t really be the only one alive, could she? That…That thing couldn’t have killed everyone, could it? Thoughts and horrible images flooded through her reason as her clumsy fingers fumbled to piece everything together. There had been those labs in the basement, the ones that not even she had been trustworthy enough to enter. They were taboo, forbidden, and rightfully so she now saw. But what could have been going on down there? What sort of sick demented experiments had been going on there?

And to think, she only took this job with hopes of helping people, not being the sole witness to a mass genocide of half innocent scientists.

The woman turned a corner sharply and nearly lost her balance, grasping at the smooth metallic wall for leverage before nearly hurling herself forward down the corridor. All the while her long red hair tore back behind her, lapping out at the dank air like the flames they resembled; her eyes were a completely different story. They glittered, yes, but with something not quite as brilliant as the fiery display billowing in the air behind her; they were something tamer, cornered, frightened.

She tried her best to calm her breathing, to get a grasp on her mind so she wasn’t only running blindly through dark passageways with no real bearing, but failed miserably as she rounded yet another bend.

Her breathing stopped.

Or she thought it did, at least.

Splayed out in front of her were shapes, shapes laying limply over each other in a heap that reeked of rancid death. The woman looked away quickly and let out a choked sob from disgust, fear, and the painful smell that burnt her nostrils. She wrapped her nose protectively in the crook of her elbow and gambled a look back into the darkened hall.

The blurred shapes quickly hardened into what she had previously thought she had seen and again she choked back a cry. Not just shapes, but bodies. Bodies heaped upon bodies upon more bodies. Scientists like herself, women, and even children lay discarded like used wrappers of an afternoon snack, their bodies flaccid and drooping this way and that. Some lacked limbs, some lacked any real facial recognition at all which she saw as both a blessing and curse. After all, her colleagues hadn’t been the only ones with family living at the base to protect the confidentiality of the facility.

At first she wondered rather morbidly why they had all been gathered right here. Had that…That thing herded them here? Had it simply carried them to its own personal dining room? The very idea made her stomach summersault forward and backward rapidly and forced her to cover her mouth as well as her nose for fear she’d vomit.

Her horrible thoughts were quickly subsided for the most part as she realized just where all these bodies had collaborated. Framed in a long since dull light, the words “SAFE ROOM” beckoned to the woman with outstretched hands. An angel in hell, a light in the dark. The “Safe Room” as it was called was normally used when some chemical spill had accidentally occurred and served as a safe haven until the harmful air had been cleaned.

Something pained her though, despite being this close to at least some sort of savior. These people being so tightly packed and huddled atop each other as if in their dying actions they tried to clump together to keep the bitter nip of death at bay with the remaining heat in their bodies. They were so close to salvation, but the reaper had grasped them at the last second.

And he mangled them for their defiance.

She knew she’d need to stride forward through the calm ocean of bodies to save her own life, but her heels seemed permanently glued to the ground as if her body were punishing her, chanting softly the whole time, “No, you won’t move forward. You’ll remain watching them for eternity. You can’t close your eyes, and can’t run away.” Another small moan of sadness echoed from the woman’s lips while her fingers balled themselves into fists, ready to knock away any of the fallen bodies in the unlikely event they might rise up against her.

It took a while to urge her smooth red heels forward even a step, but suddenly a swift wind blew across the back of the woman’s neck and the fight or flee option was quickly answered and acted upon. Normally, a small breeze would have been brushed off as a co-worker moving at a busy pace behind her, but not today. The air was stale; there was no one alive – that she knew of – other than herself and the beast, and that’s what had alerted her senses. If she hadn’t made the breeze, that left only one thing.

So she ran.

And ran, and ran, and tripped.

The woman let out a cry of pain as she sprawled forward, right onto something spongy and cold. Something wet and icy was now creeping around her wide fingers and she let out a whimper. There was only one thing on the ground in front of her that could be cold and spongy and secrete something equally cold and wet as well. She couldn’t open her eyes, she couldn’t. She’d see what – or who – she was grasping and would most likely go completely insane. So instead she settled for pushing herself to her feet, though the soft squelch of liquid through something she didn’t want to think about made her stomach flip again, her fingers quivering. She could still feel it on her fingers; whatever ‘it’ was, though she could imagine quite well just what it was.

She let out a haggard groan and outstretched her hands, groping at the air to find the smooth door of deliverance beneath her fingertips. The woman grabbed at the space in front of her while feeling around on the ground with her feet, muttering apologies onto deaf ears when a body here and there was gently nudged. She was on edge, but slightly calm, safe behind her lids like a child beneath a bedspread. Her comfort didn’t last long though as she felt the ground below her tremble under the weight of something large. Something very large.

The walls were shaking as well as the ground, a dull vibration of metal on metal reverberating off the hollowed walls with a monotone, continuous foreboding purr. The image that came to mind was of a lion sitting licking its hungry jowls while making the same muted purr. An innocent noise that with the situation became something sick and frightening.

The red head found her feet rooted again as she listened blind and dumb, her lower lip and fingers the only thing moving as they quivered suspended in the air. The beast, the beast. She had spotted it once before, which had sparked this whole escapade aimed at escape, but not up close. She had just seen teeth, claws, and some deformed face that seemed forever frozen in a sneer and had ran. Ran fast.

But she could hear it, slowly lumbering toward her with heavy breathing and dragging steps. If only she could urge herself forward, if only she could open her eyes and find the door and dive in. She could lock it and then brace herself until…

Until what?

There was a bit of food in the room, she remembered, but not enough to sustain her very long. There was no exit, and even if she could escape from the building it was surrounded by tall electric fencing which was still functioning as far as she knew. Damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. Which was worse, starvation or being snack food for an angry, hungry creature?

The ground groaned again in annoyance to the pressure put on it further down the hall and the woman finally mustered her courage, wanting to give herself a fighting chance before she laid down her body in sacrifice to the demon. The shuffle far off down the hall had stopped as the woman lunged forward, grasped the handle, and pulled.

Nothing.

Panic rose up in a loud babble in her mind and she pulled again, several times, frantically trying to open the door. Behind her, she heard a howl. A devilish, snarl of excitement, she assumed, at finding new prey. Prey, she was prey. It had heard her.

“Open!” She cried desperately, looking over her shoulder into the murky darkness, terror wide in her eyes. “Open, please open! Please!” She was crying now as the quick thumping of large feet in succession grew louder and louder, thundering like a train over rickety tracks. She pulled harder and then remembered something; her keycard.

Barely any of the rooms in the lab opened without a keycard to keep out intruders, and this was one of the doors that needed said card to open it. With blundering hands the woman fiddled in her pocket before yanking out a smooth laminated card with her picture on the front and slid it through the scanner. It took a few moments, so in the meantime the woman looked over her shoulder and noticed that the thundering sound of steps had stopped. Was that breathing? What was that shadow there, just out of her field of view? Was that just a glint of an eye? Fangs? Claws? The realization sunk in slowly and deliberately, even though she didn’t want to think it.

It was right there, watching her.

A panic stricken scream gurgled up out of her mouth, her eyes seeming to scream just as widely as the beast let out a howl and charged forward again, its sights set on the only remaining live being beside itself.

She turned quickly, her entire body on edge. Hurry, hurry, hurry. She thought desperately, pulling the handle on the door which with a satisfying hiss slid open slowly. The woman didn’t even wait for the door to open completely before she slid into the room and pulled hard at the handle. It closed bit by bit, and then stopped. Something was jamming the door.

“Damn it!” She swore loudly, very out of character for her, but in these types of situations, sensible things didn’t always come first. Emerald eyes shot down around the edge of the door before focusing on a gouged, and what looked like gnawed on, arm that had wedged itself between the door and the frame. She couldn’t kick it out or risk letting the creature in with her as well, so instead she bit her tongue and pulled with all her might.

Even through the squishy noise of blood being forced from flesh, and the sickening crack of bones breaking, she continued to pull, determined to save herself. Outside, she heard the beast charge headlong at the door and screamed, “Close!” just as the creature slammed into the door, dislodging the arm inside of the room with the red head who toppled backward, head over heels, and landed with her back pressed against the far wall.

A swell of triumph welled up inside her. She was safe. The beast couldn’t get through that many layers of steel, no matter how long it slammed into it. Letting out a sigh of relief, the woman slumped down and smiled ever so faintly, glad to be alive.

A small click echoed throughout the room and emerald eyes once again flew open, filled with terror.

One small detail she had forgotten. One tiny thing that could have saved her life. In her hurry to slam the door shut, she had forgotten her keycard outside. It couldn’t possibly be that smart though, could it? Could it…?

She was too weak to scream, too tired to move, too tired to fight for her life, so when the metallic door slid open ever so slowly, giving way to the darkened hallways outside and a pair of bright, glowing eyes, the woman merely tossed back her fiery mane of hair and laughed.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 180 other followers