Posts Tagged ‘don’t fear the joker’


The Long Hot Summer

August 30, 2010

The conclusion of Don’t Fear the Joker is finally out, and at first, I was amazed at just how long this tale has taken to complete.  Then I factored in how much has been going on besides writing the main story.  Earlier in the year we had the flashy stuff like the Second Life Visitor Center opening, video wallpaper and other website upgrades, and of course those delicious Cat-Tales Cocktails in the making.  The last few weeks it’s been more low-key but still quite vital:

First, proofing edits complete on Demon’s in the Details, which means a spiff new 6.625 x 10.25 (comic size) pdf for anyone who likes reading hardcopy, as well as Kindle and Mobi versions for the growing numbers that want to read on the go.  All of that is standard for each completed Cat-Tale.  What’s new for Demon is an ePub format.  This is the only file currently available in this format, so we can work out the kinks before rolling it out for all 60+ tales and compilations.  Anyone using Stanza and/or Safari on their iPhone or iPod should try it out here.   Users of the Droid Kindle app and other mobile readers should also give it a try and let me know what methods work best for you.

Speaking of proofing, we’re coming up on the end of Book 5, so that means a new compilation and a logical time to make the jump to providing the complete books available for Kindle.  Now, remember the scene in Empire Strikes Back where Yoda maintains that size shouldn’t make any difference?  If you can Force-float a pebble you can levitate the X-wing?  Well, it’s a theory, but it sure is intimidating.  Luke-like, I am going to try, but Kindle folks, please be kind on the off chance that I can’t get work out a proper table of contents/bookmark menu.

And finally—you didn’t think we were done yet, did you?—Finally, the social networking world has changed since I installed the “Add this” buttons, and it’s definitely time for some new options there so the tales can be easily shared on Facebook, tweeted, and otherwise passed around.  Expect these upgrades to roll out slowly and quietly in the next few weeks.

As for what else I’ve done with my summer vacation, this season’s recipient of the DC Comics Shoe Fund is Kenneth Cole.

Chris Dee

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This Week in Cat-Tales

August 2, 2010

It’s been a while since I logged a general catch-up entry.  I’m reasonably sure I mentioned when Armchair Detective and Not My Kink were released for kindle and mobile readers, but so much was happening in that window, putting the finishing touches on the Second Life Visitor Center and working on the pictures for the Cat-Tales Cocktails, they may have gotten missed.  In any case, edits are well underway for CT 58: Demon’s in the Details, so that should be released in just a few weeks.

Better still, I got myself a new phone, an Android platform.  There’s a Kindle app, so I should be able to test the phone features much better now.  For example, visiting the Cat-Tales homepage, I see that not all smartphones will direct to the mobile-friendly menu page, only the iPhone does.  The rest of you (who are now the rest of US) can continue to use the iPhone button on the bottom menu until I get an automatic redirect in the works.

Also, the new chapter of Don’t Fear the Joker is out today. I know many readers were expecting this next chapter to be the final one, and I actually did consider it since CH9 is quite short.  But not only is it a complete chapter/installment on its own, there is one other non-Gotham, non-story consideration.  As forum followers are aware, my A/C gave up the ghost on August 1st, timing that IMO shows a truly Jokeresque sense of humor, and since the coming and going of repairmen is apt to slow down the progress of Chapter 10, I figured it was better to get this out there.  All of you can cackle with Mistah J while I keep Cashmere from hogging the sweet spot in front of the fan.

‘Til next time, Ciaomeow as we say in the real neighborhood.  And stay cool.

Chris Dee

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The week in Cat-Tales – Lego Catwoman sold separately

May 31, 2010

Wow. Just… WOW. Chapter 6 of Don’t Fear the Joker – RELEASED! Yippie! Unfortunately, I missed this Remidar’s release of this stunner from Something Old by about 2 hours…

So even though it didn’t get into the newsletter, it is up in the fan art gallery, and if you haven’t paid a visit recently, GO, lots of lovely new pieces are there.

I also get to do a Josh Lyman victory lap calling VICTORY IS MINE, VICTORY IS MINE! (Bring me the finest bagels and muffins in the land.) My victory? I beat the editing software into submission, which wasn’t nearly the torture test I was expecting, and then got the damn thing exported – which was completely the torture test I was expecting.

Rounded off the week by getting to play some Lego Batman. Now this game is not new, and it’s certainly not in the Arkham Asylum league for eye candy and general Batty goodness, but then it’s not supposed to be, they’re LEGOs. And they’re fun! As Game Radar put it:
“[Lego Indiana Jones] was about paying homage; Batman is about embracing the dizzying, if essentially silly scope of his universe. Sure, it may not revolutionize the LEGO formula, but if this is the price to see Batman finally done some virtual justice, then so be it.”
I know the big disappointment in the original Dave School Lego Batman was the goggle-whore. Lego Batman: The Game has the workaround. The default is still the regrettable biker-chick get-up that is an insult to the good name of Catwoman, but a simple code unlocks a variety of additional characters, including a properly purple Classic Catwoman.

Go to upper level of Batcave
Go to bat computer
Step through to “Enter Code”
To unlock the Classic Catwoman enter: M1AAWW

After that, select her for your first mission, and if she is in the right position among the characters (I think it’s the #4 slot), she’ll be featured on the splash screen introducing the mission. The text gives background on the villain to be faced in that mission, which is Clayface. Ignore that and watch her – let’s just say all the sass and attitude CT readers have come to recognize as the real Catty.

A couple touches that I really enjoyed – in a number of those intro shots, Batman has a twitch smile. Okay, technically it’s an asymmetric mouth (See above, they’re LEGOs) but it LOOKS like a lip-twitch. I also had to laugh when Robin the circus kid walks the batline like a highwire while Batman has to pull himself across underhand.

Happy Cat-Play everyone. See you next week.

Chris Dee

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Monday Again. Time for The Week in Cat-Tales

May 3, 2010

Chapter’s done! It should go up later today. Still waiting on a beta who is, in all probability, still hungover from a wild Beltane weekend. So we’ll see. It’s coming soon.

There’s also still lots going on behind the scenes, stuff I can’t talk about yet, unfortunately, but I can say it’s going to be a wild and wacky summer for Cat-Tales. The heavy lifting IS over, however, so it shouldn’t be taking time away from the writing for a good long while. But as long as we’re on the subject of my crazy schedule, I did receive one suggestion which I’d like to open up to the forum regulars and blog followers. It doesn’t happen often, but I do occasionally go into these very busy periods where several weeks may pass between chapter updates. It was whispered in my ear that we could have some kind of entertainment in that hiatus, like reposting a favorite scene from the early tales. Given the incredible reception to the flashback tale Do No Harm, that seems like a very good idea. There is certainly a lot of interest in and affection for those early stories.

Now, I’d like to do something more than just pull a scene and say “Here. Summer rerun!” I’d like to make it an event, an opening for current readers to roll up their sleeves and get creative like we all did for the 5th Anniversary contests. So what if I pulled a scene as an invitation for fan material based on it? “Here’s the set-up. Make a faux motivation poster, write a drabble intersecting it from a minor character’s POV, make an animated icon or even a youtube video if you’ve got the equipment and expertise.” Anything you can think of, whatever occurs to you, and at the end of, say, two weeks, we’ll take all the submissions and have a big chat party or something. Anyone interested?

On an unrelated matter, a new era has begun at Marvel Comics. We all knew the most interesting aspect of the Disney buy (other than Karma catching up to someone we don’t care for) was the union of Marvel heroes with the Juggernaut that is Disney Marketing and Merchandising. If you’re on the right mailing lists, you’ll already have seen their arrival in Disney Stores nation(world?)wide.

Income Stream, this is Marvel. Marvel, this is…. Ooo, you look scared. Okay, Marvel, just stay calm. Breathe into this paper bag for a few. Now, you see that big green tidal wave coming at you? Don’t be alarmed, it’s just the untapped potential which has been there all along, snuggled inside the love people have for these characters–which your old overlords didn’t know how to harness because, apparently, they think that love is something to trample and mock rather than cultivate.

Really, don’t be scared. I know this is a new idea for most of you. All it means is that the excitement and energy and good will generated by something like a major motion picture about one of your characters will now FUNNEL RIGHT INTO YOU!

Now then, if there is another comics executive out there who, just speaking hypothetically, was unable to ride the wave of a record-breaking viral followed by a record-breaking box office… who, so far from capitalizing on a flagship character’s popularity soaring to unprecedented heights, actually LOST MARKET in that critical period… that individual should be scared. Because Disney is about to school his parent company as well as his peers about this thing called The Customer.

(It helps if you imagine the following in that Mickey Mouse voice)

The customer is not the enemy. The customer is the one with the money. Trying to think up ways to piss the customer off even more than last time, that isn’t what we do here. Ha-ha. That KEEPS the money in their pocket, y’see, and that’s not the idea. Seriously guys, you should have had this in class.

A cat person probably shouldn’t say this, but some days, I just love that little mouse.

Chris Dee

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This Week in Cat-Tales

April 28, 2010

Gave the first tour of the TBA. That was beyond exciting. I was hoping to actually ANNOUNCE said TBA at the end of the month, but it’s already the 28th (how the hell did that happen?!). Right now, it’s looking like some technical issues may delay it another week or so, but still, it’s exciting to have it in sight. And speaking of technical issues, I’ve about had it with this laptop acting up. I was planning to put off a new ‘puter as long as possible, since it will probably necessitate a move to Windows 7 and experience has shown it’s best to give any new MS operating system a loooong time to work out the kinks. But now I’m having second thoughts. I’m looking at traveling a lot more again in the future, like I used to, and a RELIABLE laptop is a necessity. Apologies to Eddie, but any computer where start-up is a GREAT BIG QUESTION MARK is not desirable.

Anyway, back to CT. Finished the pre-conversion edits on Cat-Tales #55: I Believe in Harvey Dent, which means it is now available for Kindle and Mobi Readers, as well as the ever-popular printable PDFs. I also finished work on Chapter 5 of Don’t Fear the Joker, which is now out for beta. The first reader got back to me already, the other… eh, might be a few days yet. But it will be ready soon.

And that concludes the catch-up on Cat-Tales. We just have time for one quick catch-up from the mailbag backlog. Check out this Original Comic Art Marketplace at

Chris Dee

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The Week in Cat-Tales

April 5, 2010

What an amazing week it was, on the Cat-Tales stage, backstage, and in that pesky real life far from Gotham.
Chapter 4 of Don’t Fear the Joker got a wonderful reception.  April 1st saw the hacking of our beloved forum (and this very blog) by agents of Ra’s al Ghul.  You can’t imagine the headaches cleaning up something like that.

And despite the considerable demands related to that book release in a few weeks, I made enormous headway on one of those big TBAs I’ve been referencing on and off for a year.  So much so that I expect to actually make good on the implicit promise of calling them TBAs and announce one by the end of the month for a May opening.  Huzzah!

In other news, Random Equinox slipped in a new fic on us when he thought we weren’t looking.  Sneaky, sneaky, Random, but I found you… One of Those Days at ffnet.  Check it out, everybody.

And finally, I caught up on my reading this weekend… well, almost.  There’s still a half-finished library book on the nightstand, but all the rest is done.  And the unfinished one has only itself to blame.  I’m not what I’d call a lazy reader, but a 60-page introduction drains away all the reader’s enthusiasm for the material.  Let’s put it this way: you know the one about the IT guy who goes to a Tech Support center for some extra training?  They’ve got this picture up of a ditzy looking blonde with the caption that her password is MickeyMinnieDonaldDaisyGoofyPlutoSacramento – because it had to be 6 characters and a capital.  Here’s the thing:  if that’s your opinion of your audience, you shouldn’t be writing.  Seriously.  Yes, there is a need for context if you’re serving up period material from the early years of the Cold War, but 60 pages worth?  I’m not sure if the problem is lack of discipline – taking 9 paragraphs to say what can be covered in 2 – or if it’s what I suspect:  simply not trusting the readers.  The thing is, we’re not talking about some random sampling off the street.  We all made a choice to buy the book, or in my case borrow it from the library.  Assume we’re at least, y’know, functionally literate and didn’t buy the book as a doorstop.  Give us a little context, and then pay us the compliment of assuming that if we need more, we can take what you’ve told us and Google for more.  Anyway, point is, apart from this one annoying volume that is probably going to go back to the library unfinished, I’ve swept away the backlog.  Life is good.  Meow.

The week ahead looks to be a busy one.  I doubt I’ll be able to finish up Chapter 5, but as stated previously: book release.  You really have no idea how much graphic art and other paperwork is required.  Oh, which brings me to the neatest piece of trivia from the mailbag… which I realize will be a longer entry.  We’ll save that for Wednesday.  Ciaomeow, everybody.

Chris Dee

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New Chapter Day!

March 29, 2010

Three words:  Chapter 4 – Racecar!

Yes, chapter 4 of Don’t Fear the Joker is upon us, with both couples returning to the Wayne Manor and Ha-Hacienda after the events of Chapter 3.  There’s been all kinds of speculation, but as soon as I get this posted… well, you’ll see.

Speaking of the chapter release, it was time for a new update of Cat-Tales news for the little SitePal widget, and I had a bit of a time recording it.  You might not think it if you open the window, but apparently it’s Springtime out there.  At least as far as the pollen index.  Just enough to give me some oddball congestion in my one ear over the weekend.  Honest to god, felt like I just took a long plane ride and forgot to swallow.  So I’m really not sure how bad my voice sounded.  I do know it’s not the best time for plants to be getting on my bad side.  I mean, there’s a chapter 5 that comes after 4, and a chapter 6 that comes after that.  The title of the story is Don’t Fear the Joker.  You hear what I’m sayin’, Pammy?

Okay, moving on.  It’s hard to imagine there could be something more besides coming back from a hiatus with a shiny new Joker chapter, but if you check your calendars, you’ll see April 1 is coming up.  And it seems that since the first year that Gotham After Dark became the Metropolis Tourist Bureau, there’s a small, deeply disturbed following wondering what will happen next.  Not to worry, SDDFs, I found a few minutes to whip up something appropriate for the message boards.

And finally *checking the time* work will resume on that pesky TBA just as soon as the chapter is launched.  Which is why I can’t dawdle making this morning’s entry more amusing.  Ciaomeow, everybody.

Chris Dee

Thank you for reading. If you are viewing this post anywhere other than The Catitat you are reading a mirror. Please visit the original posting in The Catitat to leave a comment.

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