Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ROASTING GIFFEN

Here's a video of Saturday's Keith Giffen Roast at Terrificon.  We were supposed to be insulting and degrading Keith (all in the name of humor, of course), but, as you'll see, we have such respect and affection for the guy that this was less a roast than a celebration of an extraordinary forty year career.   

That said, there is quite a bit of profanity flying around, so forewarned is forearmed.

Monday, August 22, 2016

POST-CON CONTENTMENT

Back from Terrificon at Mohegan Sun and it was...well...terrific.  Got to meet some wonderful—and wonderfully heartfelt—fans.  Spent a lot of time with that upstart kid, Keith Giffen.  (On Saturday we did a Giffen Roast that basically turned into a Giffen Lovefest.)  Had a great Spider-Man panel with Dan Slott, Peter David and Roger Stern (who I hadn't seen in something like twenty years).  Chatted with folks like Scott Kolins, Paul Levitz, Joe Staton and Todd Dezago (to name a few).  And did I mention the wonderfully heartfelt fans?

Thanks to Mitch Hallock and Spencer Beck for being such good hosts.  On to Baltimore!

Blue Beetle and Booster Gold meet Giffen and DeMatteis
Roasting Giffen (that's Paul Levitz next to Keith)
The Spider-Man panel with Dan Slott, Peter David, JMD and Roger Stern

More with Blue and Gold

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ONCE MORE INTO THE MYSTERY

I had a great conversation last night with the fine folks at the We Talk Comics podcast.  We discussed my new Augusta Wind series, the upcoming collected editions of The Last One and Seekers Into The Mystery, looked back at projects like Moonshadow and Blood and discussed the nature of Life, The Universe and Everything.  You can listen to the entire conversation right here.  Hope you enjoy it!

TERRIFIC!

This weekend I'll be heading to the Mohegan Sun hotel in Uncasville, Connecticut for the three day Terrificon.  They've got a fantastic guest list—and I'm looking forward to seeing old friends like Keith Giffen and Paul Levitz, as well as participating in a Spider-Man panel with living legends Dan Slott, Roger Stern and Peter David.  

If you're at the con, stop by my table, say hello and be sure to bring some books for me to sign.  See you there, I hope!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

THWIP!

A few years ago, at the Connecticut Comic-Con, I was interviewed by the fine folks at the Superior Spider-Talk podcast.  The interview just popped up on YouTube and you can listen to it right here.

Friday, July 22, 2016

SUMMER REPEAT: THAT WHICH IS MOST NEEDED

Politics is, by its nature, ugly and divisive; a constant game of us-versus-them. Given the extremely heated rhetoric of this political season, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post this essay that originally appeared here back in 2009.  

*** 

The older I get the more I realize that the most important thing any of us can do in life is strive to live compassionately, keeping our hearts open, treating others with understanding and, most important, simple human kindness.  “That which is most needed,” as Buddha said, in words that have echoed through my life for decades, “is a loving heart.”  I truly believe that the microcosm is the macrocosm.  That our smallest acts of compassion resonate across the planet.  That one heart can quite literally change the world.

Of course it’s one thing to make compassion an intention in our lives and quite another to live it.  Oh, I try, I honestly do, to be as good and decent a person as I can—I’ve been consciously working on myself, on my connection to the Divine, for more than forty years—but the truth is, for all my work, for all my striving, I’m regularly astounded by my ability to say or do spectacularly stupid or hurtful things.

I’ve found that ninety-nine percent of the time, when I’ve done something to wound another person, I’ve done it unconsciously:  I was so clueless I wasn’t even aware of my idiotic actions.  When I discover my transgression, my response is usually the same:  guilt, misery, shame, and abject apologies.  (The first three, I’ve decided, are fairly useless.  The abject apologies are absolutely necessary.)  Then—what else can I do?—I get up out of my pool of self-pity and determine to be more conscious of my actions in the future, to open my heart a little wider, to be more aware.

That said, I think that no matter how hard we try to live our highest ideals, we are, at some point—and, I suspect, with some regularity—going to screw up:  say or do the wrong thing.  Make idiotic mistakes.  Hurt someone’s feelings.  The fact is we’re human—if we were meant to be pure and perfect angels we’d have been born with wings—so all we can do is our best.  Sometimes our best is extraordinary, sometimes it’s pathetic; but it’s the effort that counts, I think.

In Kurt Vonnegut’s wonderful 1965 novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (one of my all-time favorite books), the main character—a man who cares so much about his fellow humans that it’s driven him to the brink of madness—is asked to baptize newborn twins.  Eliot Rosewater then improvises a succinct, honest and heartfelt welcome to Planet Earth that concludes like this:  “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—:  ’God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’”

Those words, like Buddha’s request for a loving heart, have stayed with me for decades.  Neither quote is especially poetic, but both contain enough truth to change the world.

One heart at a time.



©copyright 2016  J.M. DeMatteis

Sunday, July 10, 2016

SILENCE DAY 2016

A very happy Silence Day to my Meher Baba family around the world.

"You have had enough of words, I have had enough of words.  It is not through words that I give what I have to give.  In the silence of your perfect surrender, my love which is always silent can flow to you—to be yours always to keep and to share with those who seek Me.  When the Word of my Love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, you will know that that is the Real Word you have been always longing to hear."

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